A broad coalition of America’s largest businesses from Apple Inc. to Intel Corp. protested the abrupt way in which India introduced tech import restrictions this month, saying the surprise move will damage New Delhi’s ambitions to become a global manufacturing hub and harm consumers.
(Bloomberg) — A broad coalition of America’s largest businesses from Apple Inc. to Intel Corp. protested the abrupt way in which India introduced tech import restrictions this month, saying the surprise move will damage New Delhi’s ambitions to become a global manufacturing hub and harm consumers.
In a letter to US officials this week, eight American trade groups comprising the biggest players in technology and manufacturing asked the Department of Commerce, US Trade Representative and government more broadly to urge India to reconsider the policy. The South Asian nation plans to impose a new license requirement for tech imports from Nov. 1, spanning everything from laptops and tablets to servers and components for datacenters.
The move “could significantly disrupt trade, hamper efforts to more closely integrate India into global supply chains, and harm businesses and consumers in both countries,” the trade groups said in a joint memo reviewed by Bloomberg News. The licensing regime was initially implemented with immediate effect earlier this month, before authorities allowed a three-month reprieve to let companies obtain the required licensing.
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It comes on the eve of a marquee business gathering in New Delhi that will cap off the final days of India’s G20 presidency. The term has been highlighted by a global tour by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’s sought to expand bilateral trade relations with the US, France and others. He was warmly received in Washington in June and found a willing partner for deepening ties in President Joe Biden.
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US industry groups including the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Semiconductor Industry Association raised several objections to the planned licensing rules. Any barrier to trade could affect the shipment of US-made computers and electronics into India, which in turn could complicate the ability of businesses in the country, whether American or Indian, to run and expand their operations.
India’s reliability as a trade and supply chain partner is put into question by steps that inhibit the free flow of goods, according to the document. Noting Modi’s successful visit to Washington, which talked up the rich potential for increasing trade between the US and India, the letter concludes by underscoring the need for business certainty.
“This potential will only be achieved if businesses have assurance about a predictable regulatory climate,” the signatories said.
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