Washington: Top American lawmakers on Friday criticised India's trade and business policies, saying that New Delhi is not willing to play by the rules. "When you look at India's industrial policy, trade barriers, the rampant piracy, the tax discrimination and what appears to be an absolute disregard for our intellectual property rights, you realize that India is a country that is not willing to play by the rules right now," Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said at a Congressional hearing.
"What's worse is that they're trying to gloss over this. And here's an example. Last week, the Indian ambassador sent a letter to my office defending their abusive practices that are killing jobs of millions of hardworking Americans," Blackburn said in reference to the letter sent by ambassador Nirupma Rao.
"India's principles set a disappointing example to the rest of the world. No country that calls itself a friend of the US would celebrate isolationism the way that India is doing," Blackburn said.
"We have overwhelming bipartisan agreement in Congress that India's government must reverse course or risk seriously threatening our bilateral relationship," said the Congresswoman from Tennessee during the Congressional hearing on "A Tangle of Trade Barriers: How India's Industrial Policy is Hurting US Companies".
The hearing was convened by the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The letter written by the Indian Ambassador to Congressmen was also made part of the record of the Congressional hearing as part of India's position on the
Expressing deep concern over the Indian policies related to the intellectual property rights, Congressman Leonard Lance from New Jersey said the United States must exhibit leadership in the area of protecting IP rights.
"Emerging companies that adopt the Indian model of intellectual property policymaking also pose a risk to United States companies. We must make it clear to all trading partners that these policies set a bad precedent and undermine our mutually beneficial trade agreements," he said.
Congressman Peter Olson from Texas expressed his anger over the recent Indian policies, which he said is badly hurting American companies and called for taking actions against New Delhi.
"Like all of you all, my blood boils when I hear that India is revoking and denying patents and granting compulsory licenses for cancer treatments or adopting local content requirements," he said.
"As a nation, we should handle India like my dad did when I was growing up and I made his blood boil: He put his arm around me and or pulled me where he would go, to make sure his fingers were resting firmly on my shoulder just to inflict some pain if I diverted from the course we would go down. That's what we should do with their government," Olson said.