After US President Donald Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week and extended an invite to visit Washington later this year, a delegation of 20 business groups on Wednesday called on US Congress and the White House to improve the country's economic relationship with India.
Highlighting that economic relationship between the two nations remains "unbalanced and significantly underperforming its potential," the groups, in a letter to congressional leaders, wrote that policy reforms are still needed to ensure fair competition between the US and India.
"The strengthening U.S.-India relationship would be enhanced by improving economic ties across a broad range of areas to ensure fair competition for foreign and domestic companies, support innovation and intellectual property rights, and promote foreign direct investment," the groups wrote.
The groups - including US Chamber of Commerce and US Council for International Business - though noted that improvements have been made under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in areas such as foreign investment, fossil fuel and infrastructure project permitting, the letter said "concrete and lasting policy changes to address a number of other longstanding issues comprehensively remain elusive."
For several years, businesses worldwide have been asking India to make changes to its foreign trade policies.
In the letter, business leaders from across the US argued that the relationship could be strengthened by ensuring similar rules for foreign and domestic companies and more support for intellectual property rights, among others.
India remains on US Trade Representative's Special 301 priority watch list based on its record of intellectual property rights protection.
"The US government, including Congress, should use all available channels to ensure fair play for businesses, investors and entrepreneurs across the United States, and to support Indian efforts that align with these goals," the letter said.
Business organisations signing the letter include: American Chemistry Council, Biotechnology Innovation Organisation, CropLife America, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Motion Picture Association of America, National Association of Manufacturers, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.