US body launches anti-India campaign ahead of PM Manmohan Singh's visit

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PM Manmohan Singh PM Manmohan Singh
Summary'Manufacturers and Congress Agree: India must play fair on trade.'

An apex body of American manufacturers has launched a massive anti-India campaign just ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's United States visit, protesting India's allegedly discriminatory trade practises.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is launching digital and print advertisements in New York and Washington, in major publications like POLITICO, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Roll Call and The Hill.

"Manufacturers and Congress Agree: India must play fair on trade," one of the advertisements said. The total amount being spend by NAM on this campaign is not clear.

"At a time when Washington can't agree on much, there is overwhelming bipartisan opposition to India's discriminatory trade practises, with over 170 house members and 40 recently signing letters urging Secretary (John) Kerry to take action," NAM said in statement.

The move comes after a series of campaign urging the Obama Administration to press India on addressing concerns over several Indian trade and business policies.

Singh is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House next Friday during which economic issues are expected to be a major topics of discussion, according to White House officials.

Through its campaign, NAM has urged the Obama Administration to raise their concerns at the highest levels of the Indian government and to coordinate closely with the European Union and other like-minded economies.

"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," it said.

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 United States.

"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.

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