The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released its 2019 National Trade Estimate Report on foreign trade barriers. Apart from comments on India's stance and recent measures on various aspects of cross-border trade and domestic production, the chapter on Foreign Trade barriers takes issue with a number of Indian regulations and policy documents, including the e-commerce policy, RBI's circular on payments data, the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, and the draft Intermediary Guidelines. The specific chapter discussing Indian regulatory regime is available here. The chapter on Indian policy states that there are excessive requirements of data localisation, and protectionist measures harming the interest of American companies offering services in India. Below is a summary of the points made in the Report with regard to India's approach to tech and telecom policy. Localisation A running theme against localisation of data and making data available within India is present across the chapter covering Indian policy. This is in part attributable to the multiple legal instruments recently released by the Indian government endorsing such a policy. RBI Payments Notification: The Report railed against measures to localise data across policies. The first one was the RBI notification directing all payments providers to maintain a copy of all transaction data within India. The report argued that this increases costs for US companies looking to expand into India: "Requiring local storage of all payment information raises costs for payment service suppliers, and disadvantages foreign firms, which are more likely to be dependent on globally…
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