US probes India's trade, investment, industrial policies

Washington, Aug 31 (IANS) On a complaint by US lawmakers, a US government agency has launched an investigation to examine a wide range of Indian policies that allegedly discriminate against US trade and investment.

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) announced Friday it "will report on recent policies and measures in India that affect US exports and investment and evaluate the effects of such barriers on US firms and the US economy."

The investigation on "Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the US Economy," it said was requested jointly by the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Describing itself as "an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency", the USITC said it will provide several case studies of US firms or industries that have been particularly affected by India's restrictions.

The USITC said it will "enumerate restrictive trade and investment policies that India maintains or has recently adopted, determine which sectors of the US economy are most affected by these policies, and describe the competitiveness of Indian firms in these sectors."

The federal agency will also perform a quantitative analysis of the effects of such measures and survey a sample of US firms "to measure perceptions of India's policies and the impact of those policies on firms' strategies toward India."

The survey results will complement the quantitative analysis of the effects of these policies on trade, investment, and the US economy, it said.

The USITC which plans to hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on Feb 13 said it will deliver the report to the Congressional committees by Nov 30, 2014.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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