We wanted to let you know of a recent development regarding potentially restrictive trade, industrial and investment policies adopted by India.
In recent years, many U.S. multinationals have encountered India’s preferential “buy local” policies, such as those requiring that all electronics acquired by the Indian government be manufactured by local business. India recently considered expanding this local content requirement to private sector purchases, but has been reconsidering the expansion based on an outcry from U.S. businesses and meetings with high-level U.S. officials. As another example, multi-brand retailers hoping to establish operations in India have been met with restrictive mandatory local sourcing and back-end infrastructure investment requirements. Another concern, for the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, has been whether India is meeting its international obligations with regards to the protection of intellectual property rights.
In view of these and other issues, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) announced this week that it is launching an investigation into the Indian policies alleged to discriminate against U.S. trade and investment. The investigation was prompted by a bipartisan request from the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means. The USITC is expected to issue a report on India’s trade and investment policies that it determines are restrictive, determine the U.S. industry sectors most affected by the policies and examine the competitiveness of Indian firms in those sectors. The report will include several case studies of U.S. companies or industries affected by such measures. A public hearing on these issues will be held in February 13, 2014. Written submissions are also welcomed and should be filed on, or before, April 11, 2014. The USITC will deliver its report by November 30, 2014.
If you have/are experiencing difficulties with “buy local” and/or other restrictive policies in India and would like to discuss participating in the USITC investigation, please let us know.