U.S. Governors Join the Fight for Fair Trade with India

U.S. Governors Join the Fight for Fair Trade with India

Shortly before President Obama will meet with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a bipartisan group of U.S. Governors sent a letter to the President urging him to raise concerns about India’s deteriorating trade environment, disregard for intellectual property rights, and to press for comprehensive solutions.

Underscoring the growing threat of India’s discriminatory trade policies to a wide array of American businesses and jobs, governors such as Gov. Martin O’Malley and Gov. John Kasich, have sent a unified message that action must be taken to stem India’s persistent pattern of discrimination that is disadvantaging American businesses and threatening jobs.

The relationship between the U.S. and India is critical and it behooves both countries to continue to strengthen it, but India’s discriminatory trade policies are only serving to reverse years of progress and growth. President Obama should take this opportunity to call on Prime Minister Singh to level the playing field for businesses and workers in the United States while he is in Washington DC later this week.

In the letter, the governors note that India’s forced localization requirements and restrictions on U.S. produced goods and services are creating an uneven playing field. Additionally, India has created a chilling effect within the U.S. innovative sectors by denying or revoking a number of U.S. patents.

Ironically, instead of boosting India’s economy as they were originally intended to do, these protectionist policies are costing them significant trust among the investor community as capital quickly flees their stalled economy.

Since first taking office in 2008, President Obama has expressed his commitment to encouraging job growth and establishing a stronger and more stable economy. With the support from over 200 bipartisan Members of Congress, U.S. and Indian companies, and now bipartisan governors from across the country, it is time to turn that commitment into action.