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US Chamber & NAM to launch Alliance for Fair Trade with India

WASHINGTON: Ahead of US Secretary of State John Kerry's official trip to India later this month, two top American bodies announced to launch "Alliance for Fair Trade with India" to seek a level playing field for US businesses operating in India. 

The Alliance for Fair Trade with India will be launched next Tuesday (June 18) by Global Intellectual Property Center ( 
GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers ( NAM). 

The AFTI is being co-chaired by Mark Elliot, GIPC's executive vice president, and Linda Dempsey, NAM's vice president for international economic affairs. 

The announcement, ahead of Kerry's trip to India later this month for the India-US Strategic Dialogue, comes days after an alliance of organisations and businesses representing major sectors of the US economy sent a letter to the US President
Barack Obama urging swift US action against India over its alleged discriminatory economic policies. 

"Over the last year, the courts and policymakers in India have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination designed to benefit India's business community at the expense of American jobs.... Administrative and court rulings have repeatedly ignored internationally recognised rights - imposing arbitrary marketing restrictions on medical devices and denying, breaking, or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications," said the letter to Obama. 

Alleging that the Indian Government is discriminating against a wide range of US exports, jeopardising domestic jobs, and putting at risk a growing bilateral trading relationship with USD 60 billion last year, the letter said it is time that New Delhi end discrimination against US exporters and took steps to ensure it is not repeated in the future. 

"To achieve this result, we urge the US Government immediately to initiate bilateral engagement at the highest levels and to co-ordinate closely with the 
European Union and other like-minded economies," the letter said. 

Signatories to the letter included the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, CropLife America, Telecommunication Industry Association, United States Council for International Business, Emergency Committee for American Trade, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and 
American Foundry Association. 

"Reversing discrimination and restoring trust would be a win win enabling domestic exporters to further invest in India's future and helping India grow its economy and create opportunities for its people," the letter said.