US Continues To Raise Concerns With India On Import Regime Of Certain IT Hardware Goods: US report

The report alleged that the "opaque and unpredictable" nature of India's application of quantitative restrictions has affected the ability of US exporters to access the market
India-US
India-US

The US on Friday said it has raised concerns with India regarding the import regime of certain information and communications technology products, including laptops, and tablets, amid New Delhi's decision to restrict inbound shipments of such products.

At present, an authorisation is needed for importers of certain IT hardware goods into India.

The USA's National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers 2024 also said American exporters have raised concerns over the lack of prior stakeholder consultations on the issues.

"The United States continues to monitor implementation and to raise concerns with India (on this)," it said.

The report alleged 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 United States continues to raise this issue, along with other trading partners, at the WTO (World Trade Organisation)," it said, adding that the US government continues to press the Indian government, including through the TPF (trade policy forum), to provide greater access to the Indian dairy market.

The report also alleged that India lacks an overarching government procurement policy and, as a result, its government procurement practices and procedures vary among different ministries within the central government.

On intellectual property rights, it said America and India continue to engage on a range of IP challenges facing US companies in India with the intention of creating stronger IP protection and enforcement in India.

On the services sector, it said India maintains an "unlevel" playing field in the insurance market.

It added that the US has continued to raise concerns relating to informal and formal policies with respect to electronic payments services that appear to favour Indian domestic suppliers over foreign suppliers.

On telecom services, it said the US continues to encourage India to adopt an "open skies" satellite policy to allow consumers the flexibility to select the satellite capacity provider that best suits their business requirements and to promote market access for foreign satellite service providers.

Further talking about internet services in India, the report said since 2021, US firms have been subject to an increasing number of takedown requests for content and user accounts related to issues that appear politically motivated.

"The IT (information technology) Rules impose a number of requirements that US stakeholders have identified as concerning," the report said.

It added that a "lack of transparency" continues to affect new and proposed laws and regulations, as well as a lack of uniform notice and comment procedures and inconsistent notification of these measures to the WTO.

"This, in turn, inhibits the ability of domestic and foreign stakeholders and foreign governments to provide input on new proposals or to adjust to new requirements," the report said.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Friday released the 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report), which provides a comprehensive review of significant foreign barriers to US exports of goods and services, US foreign direct investment, and American electronic commerce in key export markets.

Published annually since 1985, this year's NTE Report covers significant foreign trade barriers in 59 markets. On August 3 last year, the government announced import curbs and then suddenly deferred the decision on August 4, 2023 stating that the licensing regime will kick in from November 1 following concerns raised by the industry.

Concerns were raised by electronics companies on the move.

Then on Oct 19 last year the government tweaked rules on curbs on imports of laptops and computers as it allowed importers to bring in shipments of IT hardware from overseas on a mere 'authorisation' upon detailing quantity and value.

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