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India Brands US' New Aviation Policy a 'Pressure Tactic' Amid Trade Tensions

CC0 / / Air India Boeing 777-300ER
Air India Boeing 777-300ER - Sputnik International
The US and India have been embroiled in a series of trade spats in recent times with the former earlier criticising the latter for its data localisation norms and draft national e-commerce policy, describing them as most discriminatory.

New Delhi (Sputnik): Washington has sought detailed filings of all ground operations from Indian carriers landing in the US by 1 July in response to India disallowing foreign airlines to have similar operations.

While the Indian government has described the development as a pressure tactic by US aviation authorities, according a report in the Economic Times, both sides have been negotiating the issue for 10 days.

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"Both countries are negotiating the issue. The deadline for the orders to come into effect in July," reported the daily citing a source.

India's national carrier — Air India — is likely to be the most affected by the US ban, as it is the only Indian carrier that operates direct flights to Washington, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

The issue first surfaced after New Delhi barred all foreign carriers from carrying out ground handling on their own at Indian airports as part of its new aviation policy in 2016.

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The US authorities protested, saying they had signed an agreement with India that allows US-based carriers to carry out ground handling on their own.

Currently, United is the only US carrier that operates flights to India while Delta has announced plans to launch a new flight to India from December this year.

The US earlier criticised India for its data localisation norms and draft national e-commerce policy, terming certain proposals as "most discriminatory and trade distortive".

Washington has also placed India on its Priority Watch List for alleged intellectual property right violations, the daily reported.

The US and India have been embroiled in a series of trade spats, including over the US' demand for unconditional approval for its dairy exports, lower tariffs by India on ICT products and Harley Davidson motorcycles, and pricing of medical devices.

READ MORE: India Lashes Out at US Report That Called It a Source of Counterfeit Drugs

The US has also withdrawn concessional tariffs available to India under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

India has reportedly delayed its decision to impose retaliatory levies on 29 imports from the US. All these issues are likely to be taken up when commerce ministers of the India and the US meet on Monday.

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