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June 18, 2024

Strengthening Strategic Ties: India and the US Tackle Trade Barriers and Boost Cooperation

India and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to overcoming barriers to bilateral trade, technology, and industrial cooperation. This renewed commitment was emphasized during a high-level meeting between National Security Advisers Ajit Doval of India and Jake Sullivan of the United States, marking Sullivan’s two-day visit to New Delhi.

The growing strategic partnership between India and the US is driven by shared concerns over China’s increasing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Despite India’s continued relationship with Russia, even after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, both nations are working to strengthen their ties and cooperation.

During this visit, Doval and Sullivan co-chaired the second meeting of the India-US initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), which was initially launched in January 2023. The joint fact sheet released after the meeting emphasized their resolve to prevent sensitive and dual-use technologies from falling into the hands of countries of concern, although no specific nations were named.

Significant strides were made during the meeting, including the launch of a new strategic semiconductor partnership between US and Indian companies. This collaboration focuses on national security-related electronics platforms and precision-guided munitions, underscoring the critical nature of this alliance.

In addition to technological cooperation, the two countries agreed to co-invest in a lithium resource project in South America and a rare earth deposit in Africa. These efforts aim to diversify and secure critical mineral supply chains, essential for the technology and defense industries. They also committed to finalizing a bilateral critical minerals agreement covering graphite, gallium, and germanium in the near future.

This visit follows India’s announcement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington last year of plans to purchase 31 MQ-9B drones from General Atomics. Additionally, discussions are underway regarding the joint production of General Electric’s fighter jet engines by Hindustan Aeronautics in India, although this deal has yet to be finalized. Sullivan and Doval also explored the potential co-production of land warfare systems, further solidifying defense cooperation.

Sullivan’s visit marks the first by a senior US official since Prime Minister Modi secured his position with the support of allied parties, following his party’s failure to win a majority in the elections. During his visit, Sullivan also met with Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Recently, the relationship between the US and India faced a test when the US accused Indian government agents of plotting to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader on American soil, following similar allegations from Canada. While India dismissed the Canadian allegations, it has initiated an investigation into the US accusations. The US has since extradited an Indian national from the Czech Republic, implicating him in the foiled assassination plot.

Despite these challenges, both nations remain committed to addressing concerns and strengthening their strategic partnership. The treatment of minorities in India has also been a point of concern, but the two countries continue to work through these issues to maintain and enhance their bilateral relationship.

The collaboration between India and the US in areas of technology, defense, and critical resources highlights the evolving and deepening strategic ties between the two nations, aimed at ensuring mutual security and prosperity in a rapidly changing global landscape.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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