India’s border stand-off with China may disrupt the supply chains of U.S. companies based in the south Asian nation.
The decision by customs officials to abruptly halt clearances of industrial consignments coming in from China at major Indian ports and airports has raised concerns among U.S. manufacturers based in the country, according to a letter written to India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
“We are concerned about the repercussions an unanticipated embargo on the import of goods from neighbouring countries will have on the supply chain and manufacturing,” said Mukesh Aghi, president of the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum in the letter sent to Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary of the government department.
Lack of information about what consignments may be held up threatens business continuity and disrupts manufacturing operations, the letter noted. India’s trade with the U.S. was worth $87.95 billion in the year ended March 2019, making it the country’s largest partner. Yet China remains the south Asian nation’s biggest global supplier, and Beijing has a trade surplus of about $50 billion with New Delhi.
“There’s no formal order from India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade at the moment on halting any imports,” said Yogesh Baweja, a spokesman for the commerce ministry, adding the problems may have been caused by procedural delays at customs. Rajesh Malhotra, spokesman for the finance ministry, declined to comment.