Expressing deep concerns over India’s policy of preferring domestically manufactured information and communication technology (ICT) goods, the apex body of U.S. telecom industry has told legislators that this will have negative impact on exports and economic competitiveness.

“We are deeply concerned over India’s Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy mandating preferences for domestically manufactured ICT goods — which may include software as well as hardware,” the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) said in a letter to U.S. legislators on Thursday.

This policy is harmful to global trade, and may be inconsistent with India’s WTO obligations, TIA 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 U.S. economic growth and achieving the President’s objective of doubling exports over five years,” said TIA president, Grant E. Seiffert, in the 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,” Mr. 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,” Mr. Seiffert said in his letter.

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