Key U.S. Senators bring up India’s data exclusivity in meeting with envoy

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Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, met India’s new Ambassador, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Jan. 28, 2019. (Photo: Indian Embassy)

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner, D-VA, and John Cornyn, R-TX, co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, met Jan. 28, with India’s new Ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla, where they brought up some thorny issues bedeviling relations.

While the Senators emphasized their support of the relationship between the U.S. and India and discussed how to further strengthen the partnership between both countries, they also brought up issues they consider important to strengthen the relationship.

The Senators brought up the implications of India’s decision to require all payment system providers to store their data exclusively in India.They brought up the effect of this directive on American payment companies operating in India and stressed how data localization requirements in India create serious trade barriers between the U.S. and India, a press release from the Senators’ office said. They also asked the Ambassador to consider commonsense solutions in the technology sector based on open markets and fair competition.

Other issues discussed in the meeting included areas of opportunity to deepen the strategic partnership, and increasing international exchange programs between the U.S. and India.

“I appreciate the opportunity to meet Ambassador Shringla to talk about the issues bridging our nations, especially since Virginia is home to one of the largest populations of Indian Americans,” Sen. Warner is quoted saying in the press release. “The U.S. and India have many shared economic and strategic interests so I look forward to working with the Ambassador on these matters,” Warner added.

“India remains one of our most important strategic partners. I’m glad Senator Warner and I were able to meet with the Ambassador to welcome him to his post and discuss ways in which our two countries can continue to work together toward advancing our common interests on issues like trade and global security,” said Sen. Cornyn.

Ambassador Shringla presented his credentials to President Trump Jan. 11, and replaces former Ambassador Navtej Sarna in Washington, D.C.

 

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