A group of India and American no-profit organisations and other groups have urged the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, not to succumb to the pressure of the US administration and reject the misleading allegations of US Business associations on India’s trade and economic policies.
The unilateral pressure by US administration on India, at the behest of US Business Associations lobby through US International Trade Commission (USITC) investigations and request to USTR to enlist India under Priority Foreign Country under Special 301 review, lacks legitimacy under WTO framework, the signatories to the letter said.
Released here on Thursday, the letter said the recent move of the USTR is also in conflict with WTO legal obligations and these unilateral pressure and threat of sanctions are in violation of legal obligations under WTO framework.
"Further these unilateral measures adopted by US to pressure India undermine the existence of WTO's dispute settlement mechanism," it said.
The letter urged the Prime Minister to challenge the legality of US Special 301 procedures at the WTO through its Dispute Settlement Body and continue to not cooperate with the USITC investigations nor meet any USITC officials.
It also urged the Prime Minister to pass the notification of Section 92 which will help expedite the compulsory license on patented medicines recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The letter asked the Indian Government to call upon the countries which are part of the BRICS to forge a united front against United States' unjustified unilateral measures.
Urging upon the Prime Minister to develop an alliance with like-minded countries like Brazil, South Africa and Thailand and defend the right of "our countries" to use TRIPS flexibilities, the letter urged to continue to ensure the sovereignty of India to have the freedom to take all measures necessary for the health of our people.
"The multinational pharmaceutical lobby and US government are targeting India in order to collaterally prevent many other developing countries in using flexibilities to check the abuse of patent monopoly," the letter said.
"As you know, at present, developing countries such as South Africa and Brazil are in the process of amending their patent laws to incorporate provisions similar to India's patent laws to check patent abuse and enable access to affordable medicines," it said.