Annual Door Knock Delegation to Washington DC – 2016
The annual AmCham India Door Knock Delegation to Washington DC was led by AmCham’s Chairman, Mr. Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India, from 5th – 8th June 2016, to coincide with Prime Minister Modi’s visit to DC. The main purpose of the door knock was to inform and sensitize U.S. policy-makers on issues impacting U.S. investments in India. The delegation interacted with some of the important players in this economic relationship and other key decision-makers.
Some of the main points of discussion included:
- Ease of doing business in India (overall and state-wise)
- ‘Make in India’ – success stories and challenges that remain
- Regulation of medical devices as pharmaceuticals
- Increased customs duties on medical devices
- Smart city financing mechanisms through OPIC and USTDA
- National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – a bill seeking to recognize India as a “global strategic and defense partner” (NDAA was passed by the Senate but some of the key amendments were not passed)
- Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) – a bill allowing the provision of logistical support, supplies and services between the U.S. military and Indian armed forces
- Defense Technology & Trade Initiative (DTTI) – key areas are jet engine technology and cooperation on aircraft carriers
- Maritime security cooperation – India and the U.S. plan to work closely together in the Indian Ocean
- Skill development/work force training across various sectors
- Taxation challenges
- Intellectual property in the pharma sector
- APEC bill before Congress to include India in the APEC region – the progress, pros and cons
The door knock began with a welcome reception hosted at the Boeing office in Arlington. Ambassador Richard Verma, U.S. Ambassador to India, and Mr. Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, attended. Colleagues from various organizations in the U.S. – India engagement were present such as AEI, Council on Foreign Relations, CSIS and FICCI.
On Monday, 6th June, the delegation met with Mr. Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asian Affairs, National Security Council, at the White House. Mr. Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, also joined the meeting briefly. Immediately after the delegation went to the Indian Embassy and met with Ambassador Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador to the U.S.
The delegation met with Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), followed by a meeting at the State Department with Mr. Manpreet Singh Anand, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State. The day concluded after a meeting with Ms. Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Her team briefed the delegation on OPIC’s vast India portfolio and outlined many of their financing policies.
Tuesday, 7th June began with a briefing by Ambassador Tim Roemer, Senior Director & Strategic Counselor, Global Political Strategies, APCO Worldwide (former US Ambassador to India). Next, the delegation met with Ms. Enoh Ebong, Deputy Director, USTDA and her team which included:
- Devin Hampton, Chief of Staff
- Henry Steingass, Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia
- Alissa Lee, Country Manager for South and Southeast Asia
- Heather Lanigan, Country Manager for South and Southeast Asia
Later the delegation met with Ms. Dawn Shackleford, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Mr. Brendan Lynch, Director – India. The delegation proceeded to Capitol Hill and met with staff for Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) and staff for Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) Co-Chair, Senate India Caucus. The delegation also met with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Mr. Jonathan Hale, Senior Advisor to Senator Cantwell.
In the evening, the AmCham delegation participated in the USIBC 41st Anniversary Leadership Summit. Featured speakers included:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon
- Dilip Shanghvi, Founder & Managing Director, Sun Pharmaceuticals
On Wednesday, 8th June, the delegation had a meeting at the Pentagon with Mr. Keith Webster, Director – International Cooperation, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Immediately following, the delegation met with Mr. Brian Nilsson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade Controls, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Post lunch, the group headed back to the Hill and met with Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and his staff. The delegation also met with Congressman Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Chairman, House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific (House Foreign Affairs Committee) along with staff members from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The group proceeded on to meet with staff of Congressman George Holding (R-NC) Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus on India and staff of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
The door knock delegation was also invited to a reception celebrating India on the Hill by Mr. Vinay Singh, Senior Advisor, Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce.
AmCham India Door Knock Delegation to Washington DC 2016
- Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India
- Kaku Nakhate, President & Country Head – India, Bank of America
- Rakesh Chitkara, Senior Director – Government Affairs, Abbott Healthcare
- Abby Pratt, Vice President – Global Strategies & Analysis, AdvaMed
- Brian Chase, Director – Global Public Affairs, Bell Helicopter
- Swami Iyer, Vice President – Defense & Space, Honeywell Aerospace
- Phil Shaw, Chief Executive – India, Lockheed Martin India
- Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India
- Palash Roy Chowdhury, Country Manager – India, Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies Corporation India
- Samit Ray, Director – Government Affairs, United Technologies Corporation India
- Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AmCham India