US President Barack Obama is visiting India with a jumbo delegation of over 100 people including the chiefs of big American conglomerates — United Technologies, PepsiCo, and Honeywell, among others — and will address a gathering of top corporate honchos from both India and the US jointly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are the top sticking points in the Indo-US business relationship:
IPR regime: The US has sought changes in the intellectual property rights regime of India. Online piracy, ever-greening of patents and granting compulsory licenses are the key issues.
Pharma: The US wants better enforcement and transparency in Indian patents regime. Big pharma firms are also concerned over the issue of price caps on drugs.
Market excess: High tariffs on almonds, packaging and labelling issues, clarity on agencies authorised to issue the end use certificates for boric acid are a few areas of concerns for US companies.
Local content requirement: The mandatory local content requirement in the solar sector will also be taken up.
Pharma: India is worried over the aggressive stance of US FDA on Indian facilities. Being the second largest supplier of generics to the US, India wants easy access of medicines.
VISA: Sending employees to the US for on-site jobs has added hugely to the cost of Indian IT firms ever since the US increased visa fees for companies employing more than 50 per cent foreigners as workforce.
Totalisation pact: India has around three lakh workers in the US, contributing over $1 billion towards social security taxes without benefits. India has been pressing for an agreement that will allow Indian nationals to repatriate their contribution.
Agriculture: India wants an early resolution of the long-pending demand of market access to its grapes, litchis, tobacco, basmati rice and honey.