US mfg industry seeks removal of trade, tax barriers in India

Washington, May 2: The US manufacturing industry today appealed to the Obama administration to take up with India the removal of commercial and taxation barriers so that American companies can invest in India's manufacturing sector in a big way.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – the largest manufacturing outfit in the US – in a letter to Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker, and US Trade Representative, Michael Froman, has sent a list of priorities which it said needs to be pushed with India.


"As detailed in the attached review of priorities, manufacturers in the United States are seeking tangible progress on India's stated goals of improving the ease of doing business in India and advancing manufacturing and innovation in its economy to increase investment and growth," Jay Timmons, NAM CEO and president said in a joint letter to Pritzker and Froman.

Timmons said NAM is writing this letter along with the document as the administration prepares for a major India-US bilateral summit during an expected visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June.   

The letter along with the document NAM said provides a specific set of deliverables that, if achieved, would represent real progress toward addressing longstanding commercial barriers that manufacturers have faced in India and would also move India forward on the promises it made.

Stakeholders in both the US and India can benefit from policies that promote more open markets, eliminate discriminatory barriers and strengthen intellectual property protection, NAM said. Progress on these issues is needed to foster a stronger, more productive and mutually beneficial commercial relationship between the two countries and pave the way to innovation and new economic opportunities, it said.

NAM said India is a global economic power with rising household incomes and a burgeoning middle class. It is the world's fastest growing large economy – ahead of China – and is ranked by the World Bank as the world's third largest economy by purchasing power parity (PPP) – ahead of Japan.

"India's rapid growth represents an enormous opportunity to expand the US-India economic relationship, which has been characterised over the last decades by relatively low trade and investment levels," it said.

It said when Modi took office in 2014, manufacturers hoped his vision would be translated quickly to action as the government declared India "open for business", committed to boost foreign investment, and sought to boost engagement with the US to address a range of economic and commercial challenges facing businesses in both countries.

Since that date, the US and Indian governments have restarted and expanded their commercial dialogue, including two critical forums to discuss economic and commercial issues – the US-India Strategic & Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) and the US-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF), it said.


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