What They Are Saying about India’s Trade and IP Policies under Prime Minister Modi

Nearly a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide election victory, India’s discriminatory trade barriers and weak intellectual property (IP) regime continue to harm U.S. exports of a wide range of products. While India’s new leadership has talked of reform, they have yet to take concrete action to address barriers or to strengthen IP protection and enforcement. And in some cases, have created a more difficult and discriminatory environment by raising tariffs and imposing new testing requirements. As illustrated further below, federal agencies and businesses organizations agree – India must act now to eliminate barriers and protect ideas, brands and innovation. For more quotes, click here.

“Numerous markets in India have appeared in past Lists, with no identified meaningful, effective response by the Indian government. The United States continues to raise the importance of IPR protection and enforcement with India, underscoring the need to combat counterfeiting and piracy in both online and physical markets. The United States encourages India to take sustained and coordinated enforcement action…”

–     Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), 2014 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, March 2015

“The simple reality is that while India’s failure to provide adequate and effective intellectual property protection disadvantages U.S. industry, it also harms India by stifling its own economic development and advancement. Resolution of these issues would bolster U.S. investment into India to the benefit of the Indian economy, making trade and investment a key pillar within the revitalized bilateral relationship.”

“India’s policies and practices are already harming India’s global image as an investment climate for advanced manufacturing. Indeed, India tumbled 11 places in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Index, falling from 60th to 71st place, and ranks a disappointing 76th out of 143 on the Global Innovation Index.”

“Although the IP environment in India has improved slightly, several opportunities exist for the Modi administration to make further enhancements, particularly by amending patentability requirements, renouncing the use of compulsory licenses as a commercial tool, and strengthening the copyright framework to address online and physical piracy.”

“To put India-U.S. economic ties on a productive path and build a truly strategic partnership, talk must turn to action. Obama must urge the prime minister and his government to level the playing field for U.S. exports and investment. He must promote the kinds of market-opening reforms that can build trust, provide certainty for investors and innovators, and create shared opportunities for businesses and workers in both countries.”

“[T]he [U.S. International Trade] Commission estimates that fully eliminating tariff- and investment-related barriers and strengthening IP protection to levels comparable to those in the United States and Western Europe could substantially increase U.S.- Indian economic engagement. U.S. exports to India would rise by two-thirds, U.S. investment in India would roughly double, and sales by Indian affiliates of U.S. companies would more than double.”