India decided to block the investigations by the United States into its trade policies and patent laws, and prepare for a battle at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 24 February 2014.
India is furious about a threat of trade sanctions made by the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office over its protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), preference for domestic producers and non-trade barriers. India has since hardened its stance, instructing officials not to allow any request from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to examine India’s trade practices.
WTO cases and Consequences
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which represents about 50 US business groups, asked the USTR to designate India a Priority Foreign Country in USTR’s 2014 report. The designation appropriately will rank India among the very worst violators of intellectual property rights and establish a process leading to concrete solutions.
US regarded India as a serial trade offender where US firms unhappy about imports of everything from shrimp to steel pipes and lack of fair access to the Indian market for its goods. The USTR listed 12 report markets in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad as being among the worst offenders globally for the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods.
The US is going to fill its second case at the WTO over domestic content requirements in India's solar programme, which aims to ease energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy.
India urged the US administration consider the trade issues in the context of the wider economic and strategic relationship between the two countries.
United States International Trade Commission
• The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of more than 200 committed professionals with decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world.
• The USTR negotiates directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations.
• USTR was established in 1962, headquarters at Washington and other offices in Geneva and Brussels.
When: 24 February 2014