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Last updated: 13 Feb, 2020  

Amazon.9.Thmb.jpg CAIT may take tussle against Amazon, Flipkart to Trump

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SME Times News Bureau | 13 Feb, 2020
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which has of late grabbed headlines for its fight against e-commerce heavyweights like Amazon and Flipkart, may soon take up its case with the US President Donald Trump on his upcoming official visit to the country.

The traders' body has sought an appointment with Trump, whereby it wants to speak on e-commerce issues along with other demands, including setting up an Indo-US Business Corridor for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In its letter to Trump, CAIT said that Indian traders are delighted about his forthcoming visit to India and it wanted US-based companies to come and invest here.

Speaking to IANS, Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the traders' body said that if representatives from CAIT are able to meet the US President, then they would invite more investments into India from the US, and also ask him to suggest the companies to operate as per the laws and policies of India.

"The whole world can come and invest in India, we don't have any problem. We welcome the US companies also because there is no bigger consumer-driven market than India. But we want to say that whoever comes, they should follow our law and policies," he said.

On being asked whether CAIT would raise its concerns regarding e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart, Khandelwal said that it would "absolutely" raise the issue regarding both the players.

The organisation would emphasise on the creation of an Indo-US Business Corridor for SMEs, he added.

Speaking of the growth of Indian SMEs in his letter to Trump, Khandelwal said: "In this scenario where Indian SMEs are on a path of growh, we being the apex voice of Indian SMEs seek an audience wth you for a delegation of senior SME leaders from all over the country during your forthcoming visit to India to discuss ways and means to build an Indo-US SME Business Corridor under the broad policy guidelines of the government of India."

CAIT's move to seek an appointment with the US President gains significance as the former is already in a fierce tussle with the US-based e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart, whose new promoter is the American retail giant Walmart.

The traders body had staged protests across the country during the visit of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to India last month.

The organisation has time and again written to and met Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, among others, to register their protest against what it describes as deep discounting and unfair means by both the online platforms. CAIT has blamed both the platforms of violating the norms for foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had in January ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.

Amazon, on the other hand, has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the CCI probe order, hearing on which is underway.
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