U.S. businesses face significant market access barriers in India, says Secretary of Commerce

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation co-chaired the bilateral trade meeting in New Delhi, May 6

NEW DELHI  (TIP): Pointing out that trade relationships should be based on fairness and reciprocity, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross alleged that currently US businesses face significant market access barriers in India including tariff and non-tariff barriers, as well as multiple practices and regulations that disadvantage foreign companies.

Ross was speaking at the Trade Winds Conference in New Delhi, India, May 7 where he said that their ‘goal is to eliminate barriers to U.S. companies, operating here, including data-localization restrictions that weaken data security, and increase the cost of doing business.’

“India has the world’s third largest economy, and by 2030, it is expected to become the world’s largest consumer market because of the rapid growth of the middle class. Yet, today, it is only our 13th largest export market, due to overly restrictive market access barriers. Meanwhile, the United States is India’s largest export market. There is a real imbalance”, Ross said.

For solving the problem, Trump administration is working diligently with the Indian government and US’s private-sector partners to address market access issues through the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue, and the recently reconvened U.S.-India CEO Forum, he said.

Earlier, India and the United States held the India-U.S. Bilateral Trade meeting in New Delhi May 6. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation and Wilbur Ross co-chaired the bilateral meeting.

According to a release by Department of Commerce, Government of India, both the co-chairs, Suresh Prabhu and Mr. Wilbur Ross appreciated the strong, robust and growing bilateral ties between India and the U.S. across the entire spectrum of trade and commerce. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress during the year 2018, with bilateral trade in Goods and Services registering a growth of 12.6% from $ 126 billion in 2017 to $142 billion in 2018.

Both co-chairs also complimented the new bilateral private sector led Small Business Interaction initiative, the US – India SME Forum, held today in the forenoon in New Delhi. This is the first event of its kind and would pave the way for collaboration and partnership between the U.S. and Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the areas of manufacturing and services. 

Both sides also discussed various outstanding trade issues. Both sides agreed to engage regularly at various levels to resolve outstanding trade issues by exploring suitable solutions, which are mutually beneficial and promote economic development and prosperity in both countries. Both sides agreed to deepen economic cooperation and bilateral trade by ensuring greater cooperation amongst stakeholders, including Government, businesses and entrepreneurs.  

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