USIBC India teams quits en masse, new trade promotion body to be set up

First event on Wednesday, CISCO chairman John Chambers to speak with top Indian officials 

The entire India team of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) has quit en masse, following a tiff between the trade promotion association and its parent body, Washington-based US Chambers of Commerce that saw a public split taking place last month.

The India team, which consisted half-a-dozen professionals, is now set to join a new organisation being set up by powerful corporate leaders that include Pepsi’s Indra K. Nooyi and CISCO’s John Chambers.

The first event to launch the new body that will consist of top CEOs in the US and India will be held on Wednesday, 2 August, with Chambers in discussion with Indian officials, including Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar in the capital.

The session on ‘Celebrating India-US Strategic and Commercial Relationship’ is likely to be attended by senior Indian government functionaries and could also see the presence of a union minister. Invitations for the event have been sent out by Mukesh Aghi, who was earlier the USIBC president.

As reported by ThePrint, the public split of the US-India Business Council – which drives policy initiatives and industry partnerships between the two countries – from the US Chamber of Commerce in July has so far had limited impact on trade, with India backing the board’s decision to go independent.

The powerful board that decided on the split – which includes Anand Mahindra, Executive Chairman of the Mahindra Group, Mastercard Worldwide’s Ajay Banga and Pepsi’s Indra K. Nooyi as prominent members – has ensured that the decision found favour with the Indian government.

The US Chamber of Commerce, a very powerful body, has had a difficult time in Washington, given its critical stand on Donald Trump through his Presidential campaign. The decision to set up a new organisation has been apparently taken to avoid a protracted legal battle for funds and the trademark after the split.

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