Roundtable with Assistant USTR for South and Central Asia, Mr. Mark Linscott
AMCHAM hosted a breakfast roundtable for Mr. Mark Linscott, Assistant USTR for South and Central Asia, U.S. Trade Representative, during his inaugural trip to India on 19th April at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. The meeting was focussed on the U.S. – India economic relationship and future engagement on bilateral and multilateral trade policy.
The following USG officials were also present:
- Brendan Lynch, Director for India, Office of Central and South Asian Affairs, USTR
- George Sibley, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs and Environment, Science and Technology, U.S. Embassy
- Robert Kemp, Deputy Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs and Environment, Science and Technology, U.S. Embassy
- Robyn Kessler, Principle Commercial Officer – North India, U.S. Embassy
- Timothy Browning, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- Chad Norberg, Trade and Technology Unit Chief, U.S. Embassy
- Komal Kalha, Senior Legal Counsel (Intellectual Property), USPTO, U.S. Embassy
Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM made welcome remarks and introduced the USG officials. Mr. George Sibley made remarks and then turned it over to Mr. Prabal Chakraborty, Chairman – Medical Devices Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President and Managing Director, Boston Scientific India, who chaired the meeting from AMCHAM. Mr. Chakraborty gave an overview of the progress on some of the flourishing sectors and emphasized that the medical devices sector still faces price control challenges.
Mr. Linscott, in his opening remarks, mentioned that India is one of the countries that the U.S. has a trade deficit with in goods and agriculture goods. He explained that a trade report will be made on the countries with a trade deficit to determine the reasons and circumstances that led to the deficit. There will be a hearing before Congress scheduled on 18th May and the report is due out on 29th June. He said his visit to India was basically to understand and identify tariff and non-tariff barriers such as dumping practices, IPR challenges, etc. so that the necessary assessments could be made.
AMCHAM members introduced themselves and talked about specific trade barriers their companies face. Some of the challenges included high import duties on raw materials, standards and regulations, in country testing requirements, arduous tax laws, offsets challenges, export potential across sectors, product categorization inconsistencies and interpretations from port to port, etc. Mr. Gaurav Mendiratta, Sector Manager – Medical Devices, AMCHAM, gave the vote of thanks.