News U.S. Must Exercise Care In Verdicts On India's Trade Policies   Email this page
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Washington: The U.S. must exercise care in rendering "unilateral verdicts" based on sectoral interests against India's trade policies, an eminent Indian-American economist here has said.
Arvind Subramanian, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics testifying before US International Trade Commission (USITC) on Indian trade practices and policies that have impact on American businesses, stressed on the need for adopting a forward-looking perspective.

"As this body deliberates on Indian trade and investment policies and delivers its findings, it should take account of the broader strategic setting. Trade policy does not operate in a vacuum. It is important to ensure that the U.S. exercises care in rendering unilateral verdicts based on sectoral interests which carry the risk of punitive actions," Subramanian said.

"Moreover, it is important to adopt a forward-looking perspective. Elections loom in India and it is increasingly likely that there will be a new government eager to revive the Indian economy based on a more business-friendly approach. Ensuring that a positive start to that effort is not set back by adverse foreign judgements is critical," he said.

At a time when Asian security is in a great flux and the US has serious security interests and concerns in the region, it is important to strengthen ties with India with a view to building a strategic partnership, he argued. The U.S. and India, Subramanian said, individually and collectively, have a vital common interest and key role in ensuring China's peaceful rise.

"Thus, trade and economic relations between India and the U.S. need a broad strategic framework for which this hearing should pave the conditions. This framework would include as critical elements embracing the principle of, and initiating preparatory work toward, a free trade agreement in the medium term," he said.

Srividhya Ragavan, Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, said that India's recent enactment and implementation of its patent law is fully in accord with the World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

She said India has demonstrated its adherence to TRIPS and to non-protectionism and a national treatment regime by revamping its systems, instituting massive changes to further intellectual property rights and by establishing prudent IP standards that apply equally to both domestic and foreign companies.

Each of these standards remains in conformity with the TRIPS agreement and carefully calibrated to accommodate its national objectives within the scope of the flexibilities accorded under the TRIPS agreement, she said.

India has adopted, within the framework of allowable pluralism under TRIPS, a stronger definition of industrial applicability than the U.S., Ragavan said.

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