U.S. India Business Council U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Message from the President
Dear colleagues,
President Trump landed in India on Monday for a whirlwind 36-hour trip to Ahmedabad and New Delhi, making him just the seventh U.S. President to visit India. The trip generated enormous attention both within the U.S.-India corridor and beyond, prompting speculation about everything from a much-anticipated U.S.-India trade package to what Prime Minister Modi would serve President Trump during the official state dinner. 
As USIBC President Nisha Biswal predicted in the leadup to the trip, we did not see the conclusion of a limited trade agreement, despite intensive negotiations between U.S. and Indian government officials over the past month. The visit did, however, deliver several new bilateral MOUs, including an agreement between USIBC member ExxonMobil, Indian state-owned refining company IndianOil, and LNG equipment manufacturer Chart to expand India's gas transportation infrastructure. President Trump also announced plans for the United States and India to sign an agreement for over $3 billion worth of military equipment from USIBC members Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the culmination of extensive government-to-government engagement on defense cooperation over the past two years.
The visit also offered opportunties for both leaders to re-emphasize the importance of the bilateral partnership - and their strong personal bond - with President Trump declaring during the 100,000+ strong 'Namaste Trump' rally in Ahmedabad that "America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people." Bilateral business ties also animated President Trump's meetings in Delhi, including a session with Indian CEOs focused on investment in the United States.
While the President all but ruled out a trade deal with India before the end of the year in a press conference on Tuesday, both sides remain focused on avenues for engagement. In comments at USIBC's India-U.S. Business Story Summit, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal suggested that both countries had their eyes on negotiations for a larger free trade agreement (FTA). The star-studded event, created in partnership with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Indiaspora and the Ananta Aspen Centre, also featured remarks by Minister of Oil and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, DPIIT Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra, U.S. Commerce Department Chief of Staff Michael Walsh and a number of USIBC Board members: Tellurian President & CEO Meg Gentle, Lockheed Martin VP Vivek Lall, GE South Asia Head Mahesh Palashikar,JetSynthesys CEO & MD Rajan Navani and P&G India CEO Madhusudan Gopalan. (You can watch a recording of the full event here.)  
With so much on the docket, I encourage you to follow us on Twitter and on the web as USIBC gears up for a series of events to commemorate our 45th anniversary, including the launch of a new initiative designed to strengthen India's supply chain ecosystem.
Nisha Biswal
February 13, 2020 Welcome Reception for Ambassador Sandhu
USIBC hosted a reception to welcome newly appointed Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu to his fourth tour at the Embassy in Washington, DC. USIBC President Nisha Biswal kicked off the event with warm remarks reflecting on her longtime working relationship with the Ambassador, noting his role as a consistent steward and friend of the U.S.-India partnership. State Department Bureau of South and Central Asia (SCA) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) Alice Wells focused on the important momentum in the U.S.-India partnership generated by President Trump's (at the time) upcoming visit, while India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner emphasized bipartisan support for the U.S.-India relationship. President of the Mahindra Group Americas Dilip Sundaram also welcomed the Ambassador and emphasized Mahindra's longstanding committment to communities across the United States - including a recent agreement that will make Mahindra an official partner of the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Washington Capitals (NHL).
In his remarks, Ambassador Sandhu noted the enduring strength of the bilateral partnership, and said that the United States is a preferred partner as India seeks to become a $5 trillion economy. Bilateral trade is growing by 10% annually, and reached $160 billion in 2019. Investment is following a similar trajectory. Over 200 Indian companies have invested $18 billion in the U.S., the Ambassador noted, creating more than 100,000 direct jobs. He also emphasized USIBC President Nisha Biswal's role in transforming USIBC into a powerhouse in the U.S.-India policy sphere, calling her a "close friend and true partner for India...[and] one of the most recognizable faces of the United States in India."  
For more information on the event, please contact Sandeep Maini
February 18, 2020 Competition Law Discussion with the Competition Comission of India
On the sidelines of the American Bar Association's annual Cartels Conference in San Francisco, USIBC and Khaitan & Co. hosted a practical session with Competition Commission of India (CCI) officials on top issues for companies around India’s competition law. Presenters at the interactive session included Deputy San Francisco Consul General of India Rajesh Naik, CCI Joint Director Sriraj Venkatasamy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce SVP Sean Heather and senior Khaitan & Co. practitioners Manas Kumar Chaudhari and Anisha Chand. Deputy CG Naik noted India's work to improve the ease of doing business through deregulation and legal modernization, making India a more desirable investment destination. Joint Director Venkatasamy highlighted positive changes to Indian competition law, including newly implemented automatic approval routes. Panelists also discussed issues including merger control and enforcement, trends in cartel enforcement, the emerging private damages regime in the tech and pharma space, and imminent legislative developments.
For more information, please contact Abhishek Kishore or Thea Uppal.
February 25, 2020  The India-U.S. Business Story Summit 
On the sidelines of President Trump’s visit to Delhi on Tuesday, the U.S.-India Business Council co-hosted the US-India Business Story Summit, the premier industry-focused gathering during his two-day trip to India for meetings with Prime Minister Modi. With the help of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Indiaspora, and the AnantaAspen Centre, USIBC brought together CEOs and managing directors of American and Indian companies with senior US and Indian government officials to celebrate the bilateral relationship and plot a course for even strong strategic, commercial and investment ties going forward. Over 200 attendees witnessed arm chair talks and moderated panel discussions and joined Q&A sessions with these officials and industry leaders. 
To kick off the conference, USIBC President Nisha Biswal led a conversation about the future of U.S.-India cooperation with B J Panda, BJP Vice President, and Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Systems. CII Secretary General Chandrajit Banerjee held a one-on-one talk with Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Commerce & industry and Railways, about the state of the U.S.-India commercial relationship, during which Minister Goyal expressed optimism that the two sides could reach an agreement on trade in the near future. This was followed by Jet Synthesys CEO and USIBC Board Member Rajan Navani moderating a panel discussion on the future of supply chains in India and the country’s integration into global value chains with Guruprasad Mohapatra, the Secretary of the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade; Mike Walsh, the Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross; Madhusudhan Gopalan, CEO of P&G India; and Mr. Kirloskar. 
The focus then shifted to how U.S.-India ties would help shape India’s energy future, with Banerjee and Ms. Biswal engaging on the issue with Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel. John Abraham, Founder of SolarArise, moderated a discussion involving Meg Gentle, CEO of Tellurian, and Mahesh Palashikar, CEO of GE South Asia, that included a focus on the role of natural gas in helping India meet its energy needs and greenhouse gas emissions targets. The session wrapped up with a panel discussion featuring senior executives from L3Harris Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Marsh & McLennan, Tata Advanced Systems, Qualcomm and Indiaspora, and was broadcast live on CNBC India during prime time. Journalist Shereen Bhan of CNBC India moderated the panel, which explored how closer strategic and economic ties between the US and India were affecting the diverse sectors of these organizations. 

The summit also served as the official launch platform for the joint USIBC-CII Roadmap to $500 Billion report. The publication analyzes the current state of U.S.-India trade and identifies strategies and sectors to grow the relationship to $500 billion. The report will be posted on the USIBC website next week.
For more information, please contact Sandip Samaddar or Alexander Slater.
February 26, 2020  Readout of POTUS Trip with MEA Joint Secretary Das
Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Gourangalal Das joined USIBC members for a candid readout of President Trump's first official visit to India. Das noted bilateral trade, energy and defense as the themes animating leader-level discussions. The United States and India also plan to upgrade the relationship to a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership (CGSP), which will facilitate collaboration on issues such as defence, security cooperation and revitalisation of the Indo-Pacific with quadrilateral dialogue. The session included discussion of a Totalization Agreement between India and the United States, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), cyber security, high technology trade, medical devices and drug pricing and ongoing U.S.-India trade negotiations, among other issues.
For more information, please contact Mayank Rohatgi.
February 27, 2020  Global Real Estate Trends & Opportunities
USIBC and Lennar hosted a session on global real estate trends and the United States as a market for Indian residential real estate investors. PwC Real Estate Tax Leader Bhairav Dalal provided participants with information about India's legal framework around foreign real estate transactions, which allows for acquisition of property but requires Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval for investments in real estate entities. Lennar Senior Vice President Jason DiBona focused on trends in foreign investment into U.S. housing stock, noting that Indian investors as a group were the third largest purchasers of residential real estate in 2019. He also noted that Indians were the largest gpoup of foreign buyers thus far in 2020, suggesting a strong upward trajectory for investment in the U.S.-India real estate corridor.  
For more information, please contact Sana Bagwan or Nileema Pargaonker.
February 27, 2020  Webinar on the H-1B Visa System
USIBC organized a webinar on the impending start of the 2020 H1B lottery system, which includes a new process, technical platform, and many questions and concerns about how this will impact H1B visa this year. Under this new process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap, or their authorized representatives, will complete a registration process that requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will open an initial registration period from March 1 through March 20, 2020. The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, with a quick turn-around targeted for April 1.  Conducted by legal authority Jon Velie, CEO of OnlineVisas.com, the webinar covered both the new process and strategies for success.
Click here for more details on the process, or contact Jay Gullish to join USIBC’s Immigration Working Group and other activities around visa and immigration policy. 
  • USIBC Senior Director for Digital Economy Jay Gullish: "Big Tech's honeymoon with the world's second-largest internet market is ending" (CNN Business, February 26)
  • "A small trade deal may be announced in the coming weeks: US-India Business Council President" (VIDEO, The Print, February 26)
  • "Trump Ends India Visit With Arms Deal And Press Conference" (AUDIO, NPR All Things Considered, February 25)
  • USIBC and CII Launch 'Roadmap to $500 Billion' Report: "CII-USIBC report: Commission study for Indo-US FTA, $500 billion trade" (Financial Express, February 25)
  • "India-US trade may reach $500 bn over 10 years: Goyal" (Hindustan Times, February 26)
  • "US becomes sixth largest supplier of crude to India:Pradhan" (Business Standard, February 26)
  • "As Trump Visits India, a Trade Deal Remains Elusive" (New York Times, February 25)
  • "What Donald Trump gets out of his trip to India" (BBC India, February 24)
  • "U.S.-India trade deal unlikely before Trump's India trip: business group" (Reuters, February 20) 
  • Jay Gullish on industry responses to India's data privacy bill: "Tech bodies to take Data Bill worries to house committee" (Economic Times, February 20)
February 28, 2020
Business Roundtable with Ambassador Ken Juster
New York City
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March 3-5, 2020
International Privacy Forum
New Delhi

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March 5-7, 2020
USIBC Delegation to India Pharma 2020
New Delhi
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March 19, 2020
Armchair Discussion with IMF Executive Director, Surjit Bhalla
Washington, DC
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March 31-April 2, 2020
ArU.S. Chamber Delegation to Bangladesh
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