Business groups press for action on India's trade practices

Dempsey said India's actions constitute a "disturbing trend" that affects nearly every major sector of the U.S. economy and puts at risk an expanding bilateral trade relationship that has grown tenfold in the past 20 years, and was worth more than $60 billion in 2012.

“In recent months, India has systematically failed to respect global intellectual property standards, causing an impact to its investment potential,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president of the Global Intellectual Property Center. 

“From unprecedented patent revocations and denials to insufficient copyright enforcement, India has established itself as an outlier in the global economy."

During the past year, Dempsey said that business organizations have "grown very frustrated" and have repeatedly aired their grievances while trying "to grow a mature commercial relationship with India."  

"We understand India wants to grow their economy, but you don't do that at the expense of another economy — the U.S. economy," Dempsey said. "They are taking actions that will undermine their own growth."

Now they are hoping that Kerry can ramp up discussions and forge a broad solution. 

Elliot said the 14-member Alliance for Fair Trade with India (AFTI), is coming together in a rare show of camaraderie to let the U.S. and Indian governments know that businesses have "hit a critical mass," and there is "growing anxiety and tension in respect to India."

"The business community has had enough. So we will all come together under this alliance and articulate that across multiple industry sectors," Elliott said.

"India this is the only place this is happening. That's why you're getting the reaction."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and panel ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote a letter last week to top administration officials calling for action.

The senators argue that India is most likely violating World Trade Organization (WTO) rules by, at the very least, requiring that their private companies only purchase domestically produced products. 

Dempsey theorized that India is still reacting to the slow global economic recovery and is looking for short cuts to growth. 

"The actions have to stop now," she said. "We're happy to work with them, to help their nation grow. But this type of discriminating policy is not the way forward." 

Without swift action, U.S. officials must put all trade and diplomatic options on the table, Dempsey said. 

The group also said it would outline the consequences of inaction, specifically as they relate to job creation, economic growth and continued innovation.

"Foreign investment wants to go where it feels comfortable and most protected," she said. 

A report released in January found that India consistently ranked last, behind Brazil, China and Russia, in promotion and enforcement of patents, copyrights and trademarks.