Partnership with India will be vital to U.S. strategic interests: Obama
Six months ahead of US President Barack Obama’s Visit to India for Republic Day the American Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in its Fact Sheet (August 25, 2014) had summed up US relations with India by quoting the President himself who had called India one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, one which will be vital to U.S. strategic interests in Asia-Pacific and across the globe.
The US Fact states that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all visited India, underscoring the increasing importance of the bilateral relationship. The relationship between the two countries is rooted in common values, including the rule of law, respect for diversity, and democratic government. We have a shared interest in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity. The United States and India have a common interest in the free flow of global trade and commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.
The Fact Sheet goes on to emphasise, the U.S. supports India’s critical role as a leader in maintaining regional stability. Security ties are reflected in growing bilateral defense and counterterrorism cooperation. The United States and India also are developing their defense partnership through military sales and joint research, co-production and co-development efforts.
The U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, launched in 2009, provides opportunities to strengthen collaboration in areas including energy, climate change, trade, education, and counterterrorism. The fifth annual meeting was held in July 2014.
The strength of people to people linkages between the United States and India has come to define the indispensable relationship between our two countries. The increased cooperation of state and local officials to create ties has enhanced engagement in education. Additionally, state to state and city to city engagements have created new partnerships in business and the private sector and enhance our robust government to government engagement.
On Bilateral Economic Relations the Fact Sheet says:
The United States is one of India’s largest trade and investment partners. U.S.- India bilateral trade in goods and services and the stock of Indian FDI in the United States have increased over the last decade, supporting thousands of U.S. jobs. Bilateral trade between our two countries is up since we began our Strategic Dialogue.
The United States and India are continuing efforts to deepen the economic relationship, improve investor confidence, and support economic growth in both countries. India has moved forward, albeit haltingly, with market-oriented economic reforms that began in 1991. Recent reforms have included an increasingly liberal foreign investment regime in many sectors.
On energy cooperation, the United States and India are committed to working collaboratively in bilateral and multilateral fora to help ensure mutual energy security, combat global climate change, and support the development of low-carbon economies that will create opportunities and fuel job growth in both countries. The two countries consult regularly on the future of global oil and gas markets, expanding sustainable energy access to support jobs and economic growth in both countries, collaborating in research and technology, and increasing U.S. exports of clean energy technology.
U.S. exports to India include diamonds and gold, aircraft, machinery, and optic and medical instruments. U.S. imports from India include diamonds, pharmaceutical products, oil, agricultural products, organic chemicals, and textile articles. U.S. direct investment in India is led by the professional, scientific, technical services, manufacturing finance/insurance, and information sectors. India direct investment in the U.S. is primarily concentrated in the professional, scientific, and technical services, and banking sectors.
On India’s Membership in International Organizations:
India and the United States share membership in a variety of international organizations, including the United Nations, G-20, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The United States supports a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member. India is an ASEAN dialogue partner, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development partner under its Enhanced Engagement program, and an observer to the Organization of American States. India is also a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), of which the United States is a dialogue partner.