Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit, during which he would hold a summit meeting with President Donald Trump, National Association of Manufacturers has urged the two leaders to strengthen US-India commercial relationship. NAM, a top American advocacy group that represents the country’s manufacturing industry, has ruled that there has been ‘insufficient progress’ on many of the same trade and market access barriers that have long troubled manufacturers trying to invest and trade in India.
“Manufacturers seeking to engage India still face important challenges in that market, including issues related to tariffs and customs rules, intellectual property protection, localisation measures, and remaining investment barriers,” Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers told PTI.
“In this first face-to-face meeting between these two world leaders, we are urging Prime Minister Modi and President Trump to work together to boost the US-India economic and commercial relationship, and to eliminate these barriers that are holding back its significant potential,” Dempsey said as the NAM released a scorecard on India’s business environment.
“Manufacturers in the United States are increasingly looking at India’s growth as an opportunity, and have sought to be partners in India’s development and reform,” Dempsey said. “When Prime Minister Modi stepped into office in 2014, he pledged to pursue a pro-business agenda, to protect innovation and intellectual property, and to deepen US-India economic engagement — pledges that were welcomed by the NAM and its members,” she said.
“Over the last three years, manufacturers have seen some steps in the right direction, such as policies related to foreign investment, administrative licensing, energy policy, and bankruptcy rules,” Dempsey said. In a statement, NAM said the Modi government must take concrete steps to address these barriers in order to build a strong, robust bilateral relationship that would benefit both countries.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Dempsey said manufacturers are hopeful that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi can work together to turn rhetoric into concrete policy reforms to spur the US-India economic relationship to reach its full potential and to create new jobs and economic opportunity. “Manufacturers are hopeful that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi can work together to turn rhetoric into concrete policy reforms to spur the US-India economic relationship to reach its full potential and to create new jobs and economic opportunity,” Dempsey wrote.
She alleged that while India enjoys full access to America’s open markets, US manufacturers and workers continue to face substantial Indian trade barriers. These barriers include high tariff rates, burdensome and unclear customs regulations, forced localisation, inadequate intellectual property protections and investment limitations that block US exports and discriminate against US products, she added.