The United States on Monday said several recent policy decisions by India were discriminatory to foreign companies and have “dampened sentiment” about its investment climate.
“The adoption of manufacturing policies discriminatory to foreign companies and the inclusion of retroactive tax provisions in the Finance Bill are two examples,” U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said.
Voicing concern over challenges to trade and investment between the two nations, she called for a level playing field for US companies doing business with India.
Ms. Powell said she was committed to ensuring that U.S. companies can compete on a level playing field in India and operate in the same open and fair environment that Indian firms enjoy in the U.S.
She was addressing the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) members here.
Ms. Powell said she had met US and Indian businessmen in Washington before her arrival and they voiced concerns over high tariff and non-tariff barriers, restrictions on foreign investment, lack of transparency and defence offset requirements.
Recently, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee encouraging him to reassure foreign investors that India would continue to welcome foreign capital by “advancing important economic reforms,” she said.
Ms. Powell added that India and the US were “poised to sign an additional eight billion USD in Direct Commercial and Foreign Military Sales”, through which India would assume a larger leadership role in the region and effectively respond to security concerns and humanitarian relief operations.
Noting U.S.-India partnership in the defence sector has experienced one of the highest growth rates in the region, she said, “With the C-17, C-130J sale, we have more than doubled our total Foreign Military Sales and posted sales making India the third largest FMS market for 2011.”