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Indian-American group slams trade move against India

IANS  |  Washington 

A US advocacy group Friday slammed a US move to designate India a "priority foreign country" (PFC), or the worst protector of intellectual property rights (IPR), in the ongoing trade war with India.

The US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) announced it had launched an initiative, "Leadership Dialogues on Fair Trade", to promote conciliatory dialogue rather than acrimony in relations between the two countries.

The trade allegations against India are being mostly led by a coalition of US companies and organisations styled as "Alliance for Free Trade with India".

PFC is the worst classification given to foreign countries that deny "adequate and effective" protection of IPR or "fair and equitable market access" to Americans relying upon IPR protection under the Trade Act.

"This move by some sections of the US industry to designate India as a PFC country is plain wrong," USINPAC said in a statement.

It urged "all parties to come to solutions through dialogue at bilateral or multilateral levels".

"The governments in the US and India must avoid the impression that relations between two countries are adrift," said Robinder Sachdev, director of India affairs of USINPAC.

"Today, people and businesses of both the US and India are engaging more than ever in history, and such disputes should be resolved via dialogue rather than threats and sanction," he said.

The USINPAC initiative includes sensitizing the Indian American community in the US regarding the core issues of trade disputes between the US and India, the statement said.

Other steps being rolled out include outreach and briefings on Capitol Hill with staffers and US lawmakers to apprise them of key issues of divergent opinions between the US and India.

Also planned are high-level trade and business delegations from the US to India to have a dialogue and meet with relevant Indian industry sectors at the centre of some of these disputes.

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First Published: Fri, February 28 2014. 19:42 IST