'Crossed $200 bn in trade': USISPF President points to strong India-US ties
Highlighting the robust nature of the India-US relationship, Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), underscored that trade between the two nations has exceeded USD 200 billion.
Aghi emphasized collaborative efforts in areas such as engines, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and space partnerships.
"The relationship between India and the US is very strong. From a trade perspective, we already crossed USD 200 billion in trade," he said.
"We are seeing a lot of effort happening, engines, on quantum computing, AI, cyber security, partnerships in space...," he added.
"We're seeing a substantial amount of collaboration and cooperation taking place between the two countries," he said.
Discussing the India-United States Trade Policy Forum, Aghi noted a shift in its character and posture, moving away from contentious issues.
He said that discussions are now focused on improving trade, removing impediments, and exploring possibilities for lowering tariffs, rather than getting bogged down by specific trade disputes.
"The character and posture of trade policy forum has changed. It is no more contentious... We had six cases between the two countries in WTO, and they went away. You have political limitations on the US side because it can't do a FTA. So there were discussions exploring how to improve trade, remove impediments between the two countries, how do you explore lowering the tariffs. The discussion was what are the possibilities? Rather than getting stuck on raspberries and strawberries between the two countries," he added.
Further, he was asked about any potential prospects for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, to which, Aghi pointed out the US administration's lack of FTAs with any country and political limitations in the US.
"I think it's difficult because the Biden administration has not done any Free trade agreement with any country. I know India can move very fast in that direction but political limitations in the US do not allow them to have that discussion," he said.
Moreover, USISPF President Aghi discussed India-US Supply chain momentum and emphasized that companies are moving production to India, adding that 100 million people are affluent Indians and their purchasing power also creates a market opportunity for these companies.
He further highlighted that India becomes pivotal for their strategy as they have been seeing increased harassment of US companies in China and they want to be able to supply efficient goods, hence, companies are moving production to India.
"It is in the interest of the US companies to protect its assets and supply chain. What we are seeing is increased harassment of US companies in China. They want to be able to supply goods that are efficient and effective, so India becomes pivotal for their strategy... Gradually, companies are moving production into India. It's not just about the supply chain, it's also about trying to leverage the growing Indian market... 100 million people are affluent Indians... Their purchasing power also creates a market opportunity for these companies. So it is also supply chain and market opportunity which attracts these companies," he said.
Furthermore, underscoring the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that happened recently, Aghi emphasized that it should be called Vibrant India and not Vibrant Gujarat anymore.
Noting that the US companies are excited about India, the market opportunity, and also the de-risking supply chain from China, he said, "So for us, Vibrant Gujarat was very important...You don't have to call it vibrant Gujarat anymore. You have to call it Vibrant India because you have over 100,000 people participating and 18 political leaders coming down to the event...