US govt tells India to ease protectionist trade policies

Political posturing between the U.S. and Indian government takes shape, with the U.S. saying protectionist trade policies on the subcontinent must be lifted before it will discuss concessions to its proposed immigration reforms.

The U.S. government has issued a trade ultimatum to India, which is seeking concessions to a new immigration bill restricting the number of foreign skilled workers that can be brought into America.

According to a report Thursday in The Hindu, a recent U.S. government delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry, told India to relax its protectionist technology purchasing policies before raising any complaints about America's new immigration bill.

"The U.S. wanted us to address the concerns of American business if we wanted our concerns on the treatment of Indian businesses in the U.S. immigration bill to be heard," an Indian government official told The Hindu.

Last week, the U.S. telecoms industry took aim at India's "protectionist policies" , which mandate that a percentage of electronic goods be purchased from local manufacturers.

India's commerce minister was  on a visit  to Washington this week for bilateral trade talks, and had argued against a proposed U.S. Immigration Bill penalizing companies that use the H-1B skilled worker visa to employ more foreigners than locals. This could potentially violate World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions.