The Unfair Competition Act (UCA), an anti-piracy law that was recently introduced in the United States, may provide Indian rubber exporters a chance to improve their presence in the fast growing U.S. rubber products market. As per the law, “the US buyers/importers are prevented from buying any product manufactured out of pirated versions of software or hardware used anywhere in its systems.”

The U.S. companies have to pay for damages if they buy a product from a rubber exporter who used a pirated software or hardware at any point of the time of manufacturing a product. So the companies are now opting for lT complaint firms to buy the products. According to the rubber board, India's software piracy rate is lower than competing countries like China, Thailand and Indonesia. The rubber board said the Indian rubber exporters should make use of this situation by exploiting the benefits of the new law. “Rubber manufacturers in India need to increasingly implement more modern and value added technology and lT interventions in the process of manufacturing and evolving innovative products. This will help in meeting the growing competition in the international market on one hand and reap UCA benefit in the U.S. on the other,” it said in a release.

Exports’ growth

According to the board, 11.80 per cent of the total rubber goods exports from India is to the U.S. and it has been growing at a rate of 5 per cent annually. However, the country’s share in the U.S. rubber goods market is a meagre 1. 2 per cent while it is 16.8 per cent for China, 11.70 per cent for Canada and 9.5 per cent for Indonesia. While China succeeded in increasing their share through low cost offerings, Canada captured the market by making use of the North American Free Trade Agreement agreement.

Rubber board asks exporters to exploit the situation.