AFTI works to improve the U.S.-India commercial relationship, which remains weak due to persistent trade barriers in India that hurt a wide range of manufacturing and services industries and cost U.S. jobs. While U.S.-India dialogue on a range of issues has improved since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected, it has not resulted in concrete action or substantial improvements to address core policy concerns.
Businesses in the U.S. continue to face an array of both longstanding and new barriers which impede their ability to compete fairly in India including high tariffs, forced localization measures, foreign ownership restrictions in a number of sectors, insufficient protection of intellectual property rights, long and inconsistent government approvals and licenses, and unique and onerous standards and testing procedures.
In 2016, U.S. trade in goods with India totaled $67.7 billion, less than two percent of total U.S. trade. India imports less from the United States than much smaller economies like Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. However, if India removed discriminatory barriers and improved intellectual property protection, U.S. exports to that country would likely rise by two-thirds and U.S. investment would roughly double, according to a 2014 report by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
India’s failure to comply with international trade obligations is not only damaging exports and jobs in the United States, it is also harming India’s own economy by weakening innovation, hindering vital foreign investment, and preventing implementation of key Indian policy goals such as Innovative India, Creative India; Digital India; Skills India; and even Make in India.
AFTI is urging the Trump Administration and the Modi government to intensify efforts to resolve these issues in order to foster economic reform and growth and develop a fairer and stronger U.S.-India trading relationship.