The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has voted unanimously to leave the US Chamber of Commerce, ending its 42-year relationship with the business lobbying body. An advocacy organisation dedicated to strengthening business ties between the two countries, the USIBC’s board, which includes executives of corporate heavyweights including Pepsico, MasterCard and Cisco, wrote in a letter that the chamber “adds no value, but imposes unnecessary bureaucracy”.
This comes at a time when the Chamber of Commerce is facing increased criticism for its affiliation with climate-change sceptics, its internal disagreements over border taxes and healthcare and its alleged push against tobacco regulations in countries outside the US. US drugstore chain CVS left in July after news broke of the chamber’s overseas tobacco lobbying, which CVS said went against its mission of improving consumer health. Yahoo!, Unilever and Mars have also quit the chamber in recent years.
The USIBC’s departure is not likely to alter investment relations, according to the council’s website, which states: “The US remains an attractive destination for investment from India. India's FDI in the US (stock) was $9.3bn in 2015 (latest data available), up 3.7% from 2014.”