Millennium Post

Boeing, Pfizer, Dow Chemicals among US companies lobbying on India

At least a dozen US-based entities, including giants like Boeing, Pfizer, Dow Chemicals and Morgan Stanley, have indulged in lobbying among the American lawmakers here regarding India-related trade issues since the beginning of this year.

The companies having lobbied with the US lawmakers on trade and other issues related to India during the first quarter of 2013 also include Corning Inc, Duke Energy and Applied Materials Inc, shows the latest Congressional records of lobbying disclosure
filings here.

Besides, industry bodies like Telecommunications Industry Association, Aerospace Industries Association of India, PhRMA (which represents leading research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the US), National Association of Manufacturers and National Electrical Manufacturers Association also lobbied on India-related issues.

These lobbying activities of the companies and industry bodies have been disclosed by their registered lobby firms in their mandatory quarterly filings with the US Senate for the quarter ended 31 March  2013.

Together, these companies and industry bodies have so far disclosed having spent more than $13 million on their lobbying activities during the first quarter of 2013, but they did not disclose the break-up of the expenses on lobbying on matters related to India and other issues.

Most of these entities have disclosed lobbying on a wide range of issues, with India-related matters being one of them.

Late last year, disclosures about retail giant Walmart's lobbying with the US lawmakers for its India entry had generated a political storm in India. The disclosure reports are currently being probed by a one-man probe panel in India, whose term was last week extended by one month till 31 May.

As per Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports, Walmart spent a total amount of $6.13 million (about Rs 33 crore) on lobbying for various issues, including on 'discussions related to FDI in India', during entire 2012.

However, the company's lobbying disclosure report for the first quarter of 2013 is yet to be made public. Lobbying by the companies and their representatives is a legal activity in the US, but they have to make a disclosure about the same on a quarterly basis. The disclosures for the preceding quarter are generally filed with the Senate by the third week of the first month of every quarter and more filings are expected to be submitted in the next couple of days.

A host of the companies lobbying on India-related issues have persons of Indian origin as one of the lobbyists presenting their case before various government departments, Senate and the House of Representatives. As per their disclosures, the specific lobbying issues for Boeing and Morgan Stanley during the first quarter of 2013 included 'US-India relations', while the same for Pfizer were 'India trade issues' and 'India treatment of intellectual property'.

While Applied Materials lobbied on 'India WTO case', the lobbying issues for Telecom Industry Association included 'Preferential Market Access Policy' in India.

Dow Chemicals also lobbied on 'market access' issues in India, while Aerospace Industries Association of America disclosed having lobbied on issues related to US-India civil nuclear agreement.

In their lobbying disclosure filing, Aerospace Industries Association also disclosed that 'BAE Systems and Rolls Royce have an interest in sound US and global aerospace policies which could include ... US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement...'.

PhRMA said that its lobbying area included 'intellectual property trade issues related to India', while Corning Inc disclosed 'India trade and investment' as one of the issues. For National Association of Manufacturers, the lobbying issues included 'US-India trade relations', while for Duke Energy one of the specific lobby issues was a bill aimed at prohibiting 'the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States until China, India, and Russia implement similar reductions'.
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