NAM: NAM-Led coalition sends letter to USTR on need to improve trade environment with India

The Hill (11/24, Needham) reports that 16 business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, on Mondaycalled on US trade officials to pursue a “better trade and investment environment in India,” with the story previewing Tuesday’s U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum in New Delhi on “longstanding bilateral trade problems and new barriers imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.” The groups wrote to US Trade Representative Michael Froman asking that their concerns be addressed during the forum, which NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey called “a critical opportunity for concrete action to level the playing field for U.S. products and exports in India.” She added, “While India’s new government has talked of opening its market for business, we have yet to see real results on a wide range of barriers.”

In a news release, the National Association of Manufacturers (11/24) reports on the letter and describes the coalition of signatories as “representing all sectors of the U.S. economy.”

The Business Standard (IND) (11/25, Basu) reports on the start of the bilateral trade forum, noting that Tuesday’s meeting comes “after a gap of more than four years with both sides seeking to address outstanding issues” of trade and investment. The paper notes that “in a letter to Froman the US’ National Association of Manufacturers urged him to take up ‘longstanding bilateral trade irritants and new barriers imposed’” by Modi’s government. India and the US have set a goal of reaching $500 billion worth of trade in goods and services from the current level of $100 billion, the Business Standard says.

Politico Links To Froman Speech, Coalition Letter. Politico’s “Morning Trade” fixture on Tuesday cites the NAM-led coalition’s letter in stating that “a meaningful TPF must lead to ‘concrete steps to improve the environment for businesses in the United States that are exporting to and operating in India.’” They signatories “specifically charge that India has some prohibitively high tariffs, discriminatory policies that force foreign companies to make products locally, burdensome and duplicative testing requirements for information technology products, the threat of losing patent rights for pharmaceutical products and more.” The item links to Froman’s prepared remarks and to the letter from the Alliance for Fair Trade with India.