Recent actions taken by the U.S. towards India, including sanctions relief and increasing access to U.S. exports, indicate that the Trump Administration sees this strategic partnership as critical to both regional economics and security. Currently, India-U.S. bilateral trade in goods and services stands at $115 billion, with India being one of the top ten importers of American goods. These changes come two years after India was designated a “major defense partner” of the U.S., a designation which increases opportunities for India-U.S. technology sharing and cooperation. The latest U.S. National Security Strategy also labels India a critical country for U.S. activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Both sides appear to understand the strategic importance of the relationship. Yet frictions remain, including how to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and how best to counter China’s influence in the region.
On Thursday, September 6, Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia Program hosted a panel to discuss this important relationship. Panelists included: Dr Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations; Cara Abercrombie, former special assistant to the Secretary of Defense for national security policy and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment; Jeff Smith, research fellow with the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center; Kapil Sharma, vice president for government and public affairs at Wipro; and Dr. Aparna Pande, director of the Hudson Institute’s Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia.