Amidst the U.S. Commerce Secretary, John Bryson’s visit to India, there looms a growing pandemonium in the Indian Government’s thought and action. It could also result in severe and dire consequences with an impact on the U.S.-India economic partnership. The U.S has been vociferous to condemn that the Indian import duties were rather high. John Bryson addressed the need to relieve the steep duties on products such as medical equipment, capital goods, and fruits. At an FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) event, he suggested, “It would be a miss, if I would not mention about the barriers which still exist in building our economic relationship. For example, there are many tariffs on American products which are still too high.” He also talked about the steep import duties on IT, electronics, and solar energy. He gave the audience a thought to ponder over.
However Anand Sharma, Union Commerce and Industry Minister raised his concern about the growing number of visa rejections on Indians by the U.S. and added that the U.S. was very aware of the Indian import duties and restrictions.
In this muddle, when the American economy is on its way to recovery, the Indian Government needs to ascertain a middle path. Business is two-sided and so is strategic economic partnership. It is not an act of coercion from anywhere either. It is about implementing a fresh set of rules and easing restrictions on duties so that mutual economic interests are addressed. That is one side of the coin.
Recently ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) urged the Indian Government to raise the import duties of steel products so that local manufactures of such products could battle the imports from China and other countries. It reveals the motive behind the high-rise import duties; however, the Indian government needs to prepare the ground for solutions. Economic relations could be at stake.