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India-US Bilateral Meet

  • 27 Sep 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Indian Prime Minister met the newly elected US President for their first bilateral meeting in the US.

  • Both leaders discussed a wide range of priority issues, including combating Covid-19, climate change, and economic cooperation.
  • Earlier, the US Secretary of State, in his visit to India, mentioned that actions by India and the US will shape the 21st century.

Key Points

  • Highlights of the Meet:
    • Discussions to further cement the Indo-US strategic partnership and discussed global issues of common interest, including threats to democracy, Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific.
      • Discussed Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan as one of the key challenges, and there was a sense that it needs more “careful monitoring”.
    • Both sides denounced any use of terrorist proxies and emphasised the importance of denying the logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups, which could be used to plan, or launch terror attacks.
      • They called on the Taliban to adhere to these and all of its commitments under Resolution 2593.
    • The US Government, companies based in the USA and the Indian diaspora were very helpful when India was fighting a tough wave of Covid-19 infections.
      • India will resume export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the Vaccine Maitri programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.
    • India raised several issues involving the Indian community in the US, including access for Indian professionals there and H-1B visas.
  • India-US Relations:
    • About:
      • India-US bilateral relations have developed into a "global strategic partnership", based on shared democratic values and increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues.
      • In 2015, both the countries issued a Delhi Declaration of Friendship and adopted a Joint Strategic Vision for Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region.
    • Civil-Nuclear Deal:
    • Energy and Climate Change:
      • As a priority initiative under the PACE (Partnership to Advance Clean Energy), the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Government of India have established the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC) designed to promote clean energy innovations by teams of scientists from India and the United States.
      • India-US Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership was launched at the Leaders climate summit 2021.
    • Defence Cooperation:
      • Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-US strategic partnership with the signing of ‘New Framework for India-US Defense Relations’ in 2005 which was further updated for 10 years in 2015.
      • India and US inked important defence pacts in the last few years and also formalised the four nation alliance of QUAD (India, US, Japan and Australia).
        • The alliance is seen as an important counter to China in the Indo-Pacific.
      • The Malabar exercise in November 2020 portrayed a high point in Indo-US strategic ties, it was the first time in 13 years that all four countries of QUAD came together sending a strong message to China.
      • India now has access to American bases from Djibouti in Africa to Guam in the Pacific. It can also access advanced communication technology used in US defence.
      • India and US have four foundational defence agreements:
      • India-US Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed in 2010 to expand collaboration on counter-terrorism, information sharing and capacity building.
      • A tri-services exercise– Tiger Triumph- was conducted in November 2019.
      • Bilateral and regional exercises include: Yudh Abhyas (Army); Vajra Prahar (Special Forces); RIMPAC; Red Flag.
    • Trade:
      • The US is India’s second largest trading partner and a major destination for India’s exports of goods and services.
      • The US replaced Mauritius as the second largest source of foreign direct investment into India during 2020-21.
      • The previous US government ended India’s special trade status (GSP withdrawal) and also imposed several bans, India also retaliated with bans on 28 US products.
      • Current US government has allowed all the bans by the previous government to expire.
    • Science & Technology:
    • Indian Diaspora:
      • There is a growing presence of Indian diaspora in all spheres in the US. For example the current Vice-President (Kamala Harris) of the US has a strong Indian connection.

Way Forward

  • The stage has been set for transforming India’s partnership with the US. Afghanistan remains a key area of continuing concern for both India and the US and both sides are now looking at the bigger challenges emerging in the Indo-Pacific, driven by the rise and assertion of China.
  • There is a huge potential to boost bilateral trade between the countries especially on account of increasing anti-China sentiment in both the nations.

Source: IE

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