US-India Intellectual Property Rights Issues: Comment on USTR Special 301 Review

by Arvind Subramanian, Peterson Institute for International Economics

March 7, 2014

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) should not designate India as a country with inadequate protections for intellectual property (IP) rights in its upcoming Special 301 Report. Doing so would spark adverse reactions in India and around the world and raise questions about US economic diplomacy. Not all Indian IP-related actions have been protectionist. India has also provided due process for foreigners on par with that of advanced democracies. The United States should pursue a less confrontational approach to this issue, possibly by initiating disputes through the World Trade Organization (WTO). India would be more likely to change problematic aspects of its IP legislation pursuant to WTO rulings than in response to US pressures.

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