Apart from this, the issue of patents, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, is likely to be raised by the US officials during these meetings.
Increased US aggression on the issue of ``unfair trade practices’’ by India and concerns over India’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime, local content restrictions and the 26 per cent limit on foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence are likely to figure prominently in the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama, concerning trade and economic engagement.
The US administration has repeatedly pointed to the adoption of ‘’unfair trade practices’’ by India, regarding which the US International Trade Commission (USITC) launched investigations and is likely to release its report by November 2014. Dr. Singh will be visiting the US from September 25 to 30.
Apart from this, the issue of patents, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, is likely to be raised by the US officials during these meetings. India is of the view that the country’s Patents Act is a comprehensive one and is being enforced rigorously. Dr. Singh is likely to reiterate that India’s IPR regime is based on comprehensive laws, detailed rules to back them up, and strong enforcement mechanisms, including for dispute resolution.
‘’US nationals and corporations had got the highest share (about 20 to 30 per cent) of all patents granted in India. The award of patents is a transparent legal process, with decisions and processes subject to legal scrutiny,’’ a senior Commerce Ministry official remarked.
The Prime Minister is also likely to take up India’s concerns over the proposed US Immigration Reforms Bill, with President Obama, pointing out that it would adversely impact domestic IT industry.
During his meeting with Mr. Obama, the Prime Minister is likely to point out the recent spate of reforms undertaken by the country in the financial sector as well as the liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi brand retail and defence. This would allow US retail majors and defence manufacturing companies to set up base in India to tap the huge investment potential.
In July 2012, President Obama had expressed concern over restrictions on FDI inflow in too many sectors in India. He had also stated that US companies had been finding it too hard to invest in India.