U.S. asks India for reforms on satellite industry, financial trade

Deputy U.S. Trade Rep. Karan Bhatia on Tuesday urged India to reform its satellite and financial industry trade policy, saying key changes could lift millions out of poverty.

Bhatia praised India’s recent efforts to reform its air transportation sector, as well as the broader trend of growing U.S.-Indian ties. But he expressed disappointment that India was not a stronger supporter of the Doha round of World Trade Organization negotiations, which has stalled amid entrenched disagreements over agriculture subsities.

“Whether Doha is successful in the near term or not, India’s path to success clearly lies with continued liberalization,” Bhatia said, in prepared text for a speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi. Bhatia is in India this week as part of a trade mission that includes hundreds of U.S. companies.

Relations between U.S. and India have warmed over the past year, in part because of a new agreement on civilian nuclear trade. The U.S. Senate recently approved the proposal, and Bhatia said he hoped the measure would clear Congress by the end of 2007.

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