Drawing closer | The Indian Express
Context: US President, Donald Trump has recently completed his visit to India from 24 February to 25 February.
Important outcomes of US President’s recent visit to India:
- Transformation of Strategic partnership into a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership: Strategic partnership between India and US has existed since 2005. In 2013, two countries have discussed the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Now, India and US have decided to transform their strategic partnership into a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. This shows that the US officially recognizes India’s prominence in international geopolitics.
- Trade: During the past two years, bilateral trade between India and the US has grown at a rate of 10% per annum. During the recent visit, India and the US have agreed to conclude current trade negotiations. Two countries are expecting that ongoing trade negotiations after completion may form the first phase of a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement between them. In June 2019, the US had revoked India’s GSP status. As part of current trade negotiations, India has demanded that the US should restore the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for Indian exports. GSP is meant to provide tariff reduction to products imported.The US wants India to grant market access to its dairy products, medical devices (like stents), liberalize e-commerce and investment norms for retail.India’s energy imports from the US are increasing rapidly. This is an important area for cooperation between India and the US.
- Defence and security: India is a Major Defence Partner of the US since June 2016. India has decided to buy MH-60R naval and AH-64E Apache helicopters from the US. After the recent visit of US President, India and the US are hoping for the early conclusion of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). India and the US has organised Homeland Security Dialogue (HSD) in 2013. The two countries have decided to give new strength to Homeland Security Dialogue (HSD). In a joint statement after recent visit of the President, India and US have announced that they are aiming to form new Counter-Narcotics Working Group. Two countries have also said that they are committed to increase counter-terror cooperation.
- Science, technology and innovation: ISRO and NASA are making efforts to jointly develop and launch a mission with the world’s first dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite. India and the US want more collaboration in the field of education through Young Innovators internships. In September 2019, India and the US had renewed the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement of 2005. In November 2019, India-U.S Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation had met in Bengaluru.
In addition to cooperation in the above areas, India and US have said that their partnership is vital forsecurity and prosperity inthe Indo-Pacific region. Sustained dialogue between India and the US focused on recognition of strengths and interests of each other will help them in playing a leadership role in contemporary geopolitics.