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US voices concerns with India on import regime of certain IT hardware goods, says report

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In Short:

The US has expressed concerns to India regarding import restrictions on laptops and tablets. The lack of transparency in India’s application of restrictions is affecting US exporters. The US is urging India to provide greater access to the dairy market and improve IP protection. Concerns have also been raised about India’s policies in the insurance and electronic payments sectors. The US is pushing for an “open skies” satellite policy in India.

US Raises Concerns Over India’s Import Regime for IT Products

The United States has expressed its concerns to India regarding the import regime of certain information and communications technology products, including laptops and tablets. This comes in light of New Delhi’s decision to restrict the inbound shipments of such products, requiring importers to seek authorization for certain IT hardware goods into India.

Issues Raised in the Report

The USA’s National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers 2024 highlighted the lack of prior stakeholder consultations on these issues. It mentioned that the opaque and unpredictable nature of India’s application of quantitative restrictions has affected the ability of US exporters to access the market. The report also emphasized the need for greater access to the Indian dairy market and raised concerns over the lack of a consistent government procurement policy in India.

Focus on Intellectual Property Rights and Services Sector

The report also underlined the ongoing engagement between the US and India on various intellectual property challenges faced by US companies in India. Additionally, it noted the unlevel playing field in India’s insurance market and highlighted concerns regarding policies favoring Indian domestic suppliers over foreign suppliers in electronic payments services.

Recommendations on Telecom and Internet Services

The US encouraged India to adopt an “open skies” satellite policy for telecom services and emphasized the importance of market access for foreign satellite service providers. Regarding internet services, the report mentioned an increasing number of takedown requests for content and user accounts, raising concerns about India’s IT Rules and lack of transparency in new laws and regulations.

National Trade Estimate Report

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai released the 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report), which reviews significant foreign barriers to US exports and foreign direct investment. The report covers trade barriers in 59 markets and addresses the import curbs announced by the Indian government last year, which were later deferred due to industry concerns.

It’s important for both countries to address these concerns and work towards creating a more transparent and conducive trade environment for the IT products sector.

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