Manufacturers Disappointed in Lack of Concrete Progress in U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

The United States and India have much to gain by growing their commercial relationship given the relatively low-levels of trade and investment that characterize a relationship that many agree is underperforming. This year’s second Strategic & Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) was an opportunity to move beyond the improved dialogue that has characterized the U.S.-India relationship since Prime Minister Modi took office more than two years ago and into concrete action.

Unfortunately, the just-released U.S.-India Joint Statement marking the conclusion of this year’s dialogue has little to cheer. The NAM and others had urged the two governments to use dialogue to drive concrete deliverables. Yet this dialogue’s “outcomes,” if they can be so labeled, are heavy on cooperation, collaboration and further discussions, but no concrete movement on issues that matter to a wide swath of manufacturers in the United States.  There was, for instance, no renunciation by India of its WTO-violative actions, such as increased information technology tariffs and discriminatory localization measures on solar energy and other manufactured goods. There were no concrete deliverables announced on the protection of intellectual property and little substance on innovation. And while India has moved up on the Innovation Index, India still is in the bottom half of the rankings, behind its key Asian competitors.

As the United States prepares for its next major dialogue with India – the Trade Policy Forum – in October, manufacturers urge outcomes that will make a tangible difference for their ability to do business with India.

Learn more about the NAM’s stance on U.S.-India trade relations by clicking here.


Talking is Good, but United States and India Should be Moving Beyond Just Words by Now

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

Top U.S. officials are setting travel plans now for the second annual Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), set for the week of August 28 in New Delhi. This year’s S&CD will be a litmus test for these dialogues, demonstrating whether they can show real progress on concrete issues impacting manufacturers in the United States, or just produce more talk. Read More

India’s IP Policy Shows Missed Opportunity with Backsliding on Patents, Trade Secrets

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

India missed a clear opportunity to signal that it is serious about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promises for the country to become an “innovation hub” last week with the release of its long-awaited National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. Far from being the breakthrough document that India’s government has claimed, the final policy framework shows little improvement to critical language and new, troubling provisions in key areas, such as patents and trade secrets. Read More

Manufacturers Outline “Road Map to Progress” with India

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

Last week, Indian media reports broke the news that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would travel to Washington for a bilateral summit with President Barack Obama, marking his fourth trip to the United States in two years. As the two governments prepare for this visit as well as for major bilateral dialogues on economic and commercial issues, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today issued targeted commercial priorities for the U.S. government to engage with India in 2016priorities that require concrete actions by which manufacturers in the United States will gauge the success of this engagement. Read More

U.S. Government Flags Colombia, China, India, Canada and Russia as Global Priorities for Stronger IP Protection

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

A new report released today by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) stressed the importance of intellectual property (IP) around the world and the danger of global IP infringement for American jobs, innovation and competitiveness. IP protection is a top manufacturing issue: innovation drives U.S. global leadership in manufacturing and promotes good-paying jobs and economic growth in a sector that is innovating more than ever before. This year’s Special 301 Report highlights specific challenges faced by manufacturers in the United States in NAM priority markets, such as Colombia, India and China. The report also analyzes global challenges, such as weak trade secret protection, counterfeiting and piracy and inadequate protection of patents in detail. Read More

India’s New Budget, Reports Show Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality on Problems Facing Manufacturers

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

India just entered its “budget season” with a flurry of reports on its economy and fiscal priorities for the coming year. While these rosy reports contain positive rhetoric about India’s economic and commercial environment, global manufacturers are looking for action: concrete steps, not just rhetoric, to address challenges that limit their access in India. Read More

Special 301 and New Enforcement Tools Highlight Importance of Global IPR Protection for Manufacturers

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

Global infringement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) imperils the innovation and competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States, costing jobs and economic growth here at home. The NAM urges the U.S. government to take immediate, concrete steps to address IPR and enforcement challenges to manufacturing in global markets as identified by the NAM and others in recent submissions and testimony to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for its annual Special 301 report. Read More

WTO Decision on Solar Localization Rules Marks Victory for U.S. Manufacturers

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced today that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel had found that localization rules under India’s national solar energy policy violated WTO international trade rules in discriminating against imported solar cells and modules. This marks an important victory for U.S. manufacturers in pushing back against Indian efforts to promote local manufacturing at the expense of market access and opportunity for U.S. manufacturers. Read More

Is India “Open For Business”?

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Timmons delivers opening remarks at U.S.-India Trade Policy Briefing

Timmons delivers opening remarks at U.S.-India Trade Policy Briefing

Members of Congress, policy experts, economists, and industry leaders gathered at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., yesterday morning for a policy breakfast briefing event to examine an important question: “Is India Open For Business?” after the first year of the Modi government. Read More

To Foster Economic Development in India, Concrete Action is Needed

By | General | No Comments

Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 report which analyzes the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) among U.S. trading partners and also marks the first full review of India’s IPR regime since Prime Minister Modi took office. As in past reports, USTR once again placed India on the Priority Watch List due to ongoing concerns with the country’s lack of protections for innovators.

The report confirms that, despite ongoing dialogues and increasingly strong statements from Prime Minister Modi regarding his commitment to increasing protections for innovators in India, there has been no actual concrete action to improve IP protections. USTR expects ongoing dialogues to “bring about substantive and measurable improvements in India’s IPR regime for the benefit of a broad range of innovative and creative industries” and will “take further action, if necessary.”

As the NAM explained in its Special 301 comments filed in advance of the report, there are many areas where there has been dialogue, but no real improvement to India’s IPR policies including patent and data protection, compulsory licensing, and copyright piracy. This lack of progress and backward action in a number of areas from IPR to localization policies was also detailed just last week in the NAM’s pre pre-hearing statement filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is conducting a second investigation into India’s trade and investment practices and their input on U.S. industries. These policy failures have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy.

But businesses and industry leaders are not the only ones taking notice of India’s lack of progress in IPR and market-opening measures. India’s policies are impacting their global image as a country committed to innovation as reflected in India’s decline in various innovation and other measures. U.S. lawmakers are also taking note of the lack of concrete improvement in IPR in the country.

The NAM is committed to increasing commercial ties through a fair and more open trading relationship with India. To achieve that type of relationship – and for India to grow its economy and become the innovation leader it seeks to be – there must be more than talk and vague promises. It is time for India to take measures to bring its IPR regime up to global standards, to respect private property and innovation and seek to grow its economy through encouraging trade and investment.