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US says India is discriminating against its telco manufacturers

June 28, 2013 08:45 IST

TelecomExpressing deep concerns over India's policy of preferring domestically manufactured information and communication technology goods, the apex body of US telecom industry has told lawmakers that this will have negative impact on exports and economic competitiveness.

"We are deeply concerned over India's Preferential Market Access policy mandating preferences for domestically manufactured ICT goods -- which may include software as well as hardware," the Telecommunication Industry Association wrote in a letter to US lawmakers on Thursday.

This policy is harmful to global trade, and may be inconsistent with India's World Trade Organization obligations, TMA said.

"The policy has already been implemented with regard to government procurement,

but we understand that the PMA policy may soon be applied to private sector transactions. If so, this would represent a significant level of government interference in commercial activities," it said.

"Our ability to sell American products and services in India is important for US economic growth and achieving the President's objective of doubling exports over five years," said TIA president, Grant E Seiffert, in a letter.

"Moreover, these policies, if left unchecked, carry with them the potential for a contagion effect, encouraging India to issue similar policies affecting other sectors -- and providing a rationale for other countries to mirror this unfortunate behaviour," Seiffert added.

"The ICT sector is a vibrant and dynamic one, and such restrictions as India seeks to impose would only deny it access to global technological and product innovations," Seiffert said in his letter.

Lalit K Jha in Washington