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Last Updated : May 08, 2019 04:44 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross on Walmart and MasterCard in India: There is a limit to New Delhi’s discriminatory behaviour

Ross further said the US is the largest source of foreign direct investment into India, therefore, hopes that India's 'fundamental philosophy' of favouring Indian business versus foreign will gradually change.

CNBC TV18 @moneycontrolcom

Our job is to try to get a more level playing field for American companies, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview.

Present in India to participate in a US-government sponsored trade forum, Ross said, "The whole treatment of Walmart after their acquisition of Flipkart is an important issue. Walmart is continuing to expand here. Similarly, MasterCard, there are problems with data localisation where MasterCard is still continuing to invest. So the American companies are showing goodwill and cooperative attitude towards Make in India and the other programs, but there is a limit to (India's) discriminatory behaviour."

Ross further said the US is the largest source of foreign direct investment into India, and therefore hopes that India's 'fundamental philosophy' of favouring Indian business over foreign ones would gradually change.

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On the trade event, he said, "We had to turn down some of the people who applied late," adding, "This year, we will have over a 100 companies participating."

On talks with commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, Ross said, "We had very constructive discussions and I met not just with (commerce) minister Prabhu but also with (finance) minister Jaitley and it has been about an hour with the Prime Minister earlier today. So we had very good, very extensive, very far reaching discussions."

Ross was supposed to be in India for the US-India commercial dialogue in February this year but had to cancel due to scheduling issues.

The US in March this year had announced withdrawal of GSP benefits for Indian exporters beginning May 2nd through a presidential proclamation. US president Donald Trump has called India 'Tariff King". India has postponed her plans of imposing retaliatory tariffs on 29 US products till May 16th.

Government sources, responding to this allegation, said the Tariff King labeling is not appropriate as US and other countries charge higher duties on some products. They further said, average tariffs imposed by India on american goods are at 13.7 percent which are closer to that of South Korea (13.7 percent) and China (9.8 percent).

The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Source: CNBC-TV 18



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First Published on May 7, 2019 05:54 pm
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