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  September 28th, 2015 | Written by

Industry Letter Urges President to Focus on Trade Reforms in India

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  • AFTI to Obama: Meeting with Modi must focus on improving business environment for U.S. companies in India.
  • Businesses urge president to focus with Prime Minister Modi on trade reforms in India.
  • AFTI letter: Close regulatory loopholes that hamper patent enforcement for medicines in India.

As President Barack Obama is about to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York, the Alliance for Fair Trade with India (AFTI) sent him a letter urging the president to address policies India should implement to provide legal and regulatory certainty for U.S. companies seeking to invest in that market.

In the letter, U.S. business and manufacturing groups welcome the renewed focus on high level commercial dialogues with the goal of creating a mutually beneficial U.S.-India economic relationship. They note that implementation of trade reforms will boost India’s long-term economic growth and foster market access for American innovators, exporters, and investors.

Specifically, the organizations urge Obama to discuss measures such as forced localization measures, excessively high tariffs, and unnecessary regulations which discourage U.S. industries from participating fully in India’s economy. “Moving towards international standards and having workable regulatory systems, including with respect to the development of a new food product approval system, are particularly critical to attracting investment,” said the letter.

AFTI also urged the president to discuss intellectual property protections with the prime minister. “Closing regulatory loopholes that hamper patent enforcement for medicines, providing a sufficient period of data protection for agrochemicals and medicines, and removing the overly restrictive ‘enhanced efficacy’ criterion for the patentability of medicines would go a long way toward attracting investment in advanced research and manufacturing in India,” the letter said.

Among the singers of the letter were the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Biotechnology Industry Association, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the National Foreign Trade Council, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“American innovative companies are encouraged by the discussion of necessary policy changes to enhance intellectual property rights and enforcement in India,” said Patrick Kilbride, co-chair of AFTI and executive director for international IP policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “We look forward to continued dialogue between these leaders to allow both countries to capitalize on the opportunity for mutual growth and innovation.”