Several policies adopted by India to boost its economy, manufacturing in particular, discriminate against US exports and investment, an influential Congressional committee has said. “India, while striving to improve its economic growth, has been enacting a series of policies to increase domestic manufacturing and protect domestic industries and agricultural production that discriminate against US exports and investment,” the House Appropriations Committee said in its report accompanying the annual Appropriations Bill 2018.
The report was prepared by the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over a diverse group of agencies responsible for combating gangs, violent crime, drug trafficking, financial fraud, terrorism, espionage, and cybercrime; enforcing trade laws; conducting periodic censuses; forecasting the weather; managing fisheries; exploring space; and advancing science.
Noting the importance of US-India bilateral trade and investment, the Appropriations Committee, in its report to the committee on Monday expressed concerned about the standards of intellectual property protection and forced localisation measures.
The powerful committee also expressed its concern over the “alleged unfair treatment by India of US exports of American-produced boric acid, the illegal rebranding and smuggling of US-grown almonds into India, and a whole host of other market access issues.”
“The committee understands the Trade Representative has raised these unfair barriers to trade multiple times with the Indian government and supports the efforts of USTR to resolve these issues,” the report said.
The committee directed US Trade Representatives (USTR) to continue to pursue free trade agreements with additional countries and trading blocs to continue advancing trade to and from the United States.
The committee expected that the USTR will coordinate and implement a comprehensive and vigorous strategy to address the United States’ trade imbalance with China. Within the amounts provided, the USTR is encouraged to maintain staff who can translate trade documents that USTR receives from China. The Committee believes that USTR should have its own translators on staff given the challenges associated with enforcing existing US trade laws with China, it said.