2018 Policy Accomplishments
Spotlight on City and State Engagement
- We launched the U.S.-India Future Connectivity Series, a platform designed to highlight the role of high-growth U.S. cities and states driving U.S.-India trade. Successful events in Los Angeles and San Jose engaged business leaders on opportunities for trade and investment with India.
Deepening U.S.-India Strategic and Security Cooperation
- After more than two years of lobbying by USIBC, and a decade of effort by the USG, the Indian government signed the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), facilitating the sale and transfer of advanced communications equipment to the Indian military.
- USIBC also actively advocated for the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed in August. The Act included a provision focused on “enhancing defense and security cooperation with India,” an outgrowth of USIBC efforts to promote establishment of India as a Major Defense Partner
- Following passage of the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), USIBC engaged key elected representatives and their staff in Congress to lobby for a waiver provision with sufficient flexibility to keep U.S.-India defense relations moving forward despite the S-400 issue. We were pleased that Section 1294 of the 2019 NDAA provided such a waiver, removing an irritant in the U.S.-India strategic relationship.
Data Policies Dominate the Landscape
- USIBC launched a Privacy Working Group to address issues around consumer privacy, data localization, and cyber security, which serves as a key interlocutor for GOI officials as the Indian government develops draft data privacy laws.
- USIBC also collaborated with the GOI to set policy expectations around content oversight, ecommerce regulation, and the need for balanced laws that enable innovation, investment, and job creation.
- USIBC provided recommended changes to India’s recently passed National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), several of which were incorporated into the final policy.
- We continue to work closely with colleagues from the U.S. Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) on digital economy issues, including joint work to advance India’s intellectual property protections through updates to patent and copyright processes and the launch of a track 1.5 U.S.-India IP Summit.
From Farm to Fork & Agriculture Advocacy
- USIBC is preparing to launch a new member-focused initiative, From Farm to Fork, which will focus on work to double farmers’ income, advance farm mechanization, and link markets and consumers.
Price Controls Remain a Healthcare Challenge
- Based on significant concern surrounding price controls, USIBC provided input to USTR on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and submitted an advocacy letter to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and Niti Aayog detailing industry concerns and explaining why stents and knee implants must be categorized.
- USIBC submitted a concept paper on Ayushman Bharat and highlighted members’ interest in providing devices, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tools, and best practices to support the scheme, positioning them as key GOI partners.
- USIBC and its members were tapped to participate in a taskforce led by the Bureau of Industry (BIS) to set standards for the healthcare industry.
- USIBC advocated for constructive changes to IP policies and approval of inflight communications (IFC) for passenger aircraft, both of which were embraced by the GOI this year.
U.S.-India Energy Trade
- USIBC launched an E-mobility initiative in August with Niti Aayog to feed into the e-mobility policy process in India, helping to shape emerging GOI policy surrounding electric vehicles.
- We co-hosted two India-focused official affiliate events on the margins of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September.
- Energy featured prominently in the announcement of Asia EDGE at the U.S. Chamber’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum in July. USIBC is working with the USG to support this initiative and serve as a voice for industry in the process.
- USIBC recommended the CBEC review the issue of rejected service tax refund claims filed by software and IT companies, and provided detailed guidelines for the GOI to engage financial service sector companies and resolve the issue.