US trade body accuses India of not playing fair

Washington, Sep 24 (IANS) Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's US visit, a leading US trade body has launched a massive ad campaign asking the Obama administration to raise the issue of India's alleged unfair trade

practices.

"Manufacturers and Congress Agree: India must play fair on trade," says an advertisement issued by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

"At a time when Washington can't agree on much" there is "overwhelming bipartisan opposition to India's discriminatory trade practices," it said.

NAM has issued such digital and print advertisements in major publications in Washington and New York like the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Financial Times. It has also issued ads in Roll Call and The Hill, focusing on Congressional politics.

"Reversing discrimination and restoring trust would be a win-win, enabling American exporters to further invest in India's future and help India grow its economy and create opportunities for its people," the NAM statement continues.

The NAM has been urging the Obama administration for months to force India to address concerns over its trade and business policies.

NAM alleged that over the past year, Indian government agencies and courts have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination and forced localisation designed to benefit India's corporations at the expense of manufacturing jobs in the US.

"The Indian government has demanded that much of its market for certain information technology, clean energy, and power equipment be satisfied by domestic-based firms," it said.

"Administrative and court rulings have repeatedly ignored internationally recognised rights by imposing arbitrary marketing restrictions on medical devices and denying or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications," NAM added.

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

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