India-US BIT-Any Progress?

The news reports may give picture of substantial progress on India US BIT, e.g. the news reports mention “India-US Bilateral Investment Treaty Discussions Nearly Complete” on September 22, 2011.

Reality is quite different.  As mentioned earlier,

1. There not a finalized version of Model BIT.

2. There is not a date set for finalizing/signing India US BIT.

3. There is no awareness in Congress (specially in Senate) about importance of India US BIT!

Media, US Business Leaders may be pushing for the BIT but no one talks about the underlying mechanism and how to accomplish that process.  US India Business Council (USIBC)’s President Ron Somers recently issued press release urging both governments to prioritize “delivery” of BIT.  Does he know that Model BIT is years (if not decades) away from finalization???!!!!

(BTW Google search also displays the news that US Senate approved BIT with Rawanda!!  This BIT was signed when George W. Bush was president!)

Furthremore, USIBC’s focus is on big players: e.g. Boeing establishing factory in India, technology protections etc.  This Blog’s focus is on investors from India-who wants to invest say $200, 000-$300, 000 and create jobs in USA!  USIBC does not even mention visa provisions necessary for such investors.  As studies have shown small businesses and entrepreneurs generate jobs in USA far more than multinationals.

Should we write to Ms. Anku Nath, Director for Trade Policy Advocacy  or Katie Sparrow, Senior Manager for Policy Advocacy-see their contacts on USIBC web site to bring awareness to USIBC?

(BTW Let us not confuse visa provisions in BIT with visa issues related to H1B or L1 etc.  Even when Anand Sharma says that he will take up visa problems/fees matter with US government-he is concentrating on H1B/L1 etc.-same for USIBC!!)

It is a tragedy that no US politician or government has given any thoughts and/or priority to BIT and its visa aspect and pushed the BIT . Not even India Caucus of US Congress has accorded any priority to BIT.  If we can have BIT with Rwanda-we can definitely have BIT with India.

We can change that with this Blog and other social media.  We need your help in making this a priority.


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