US-India ties on upward trajectory
The US and India have strengthened their ties in a number of key areas like defence, counter-terrorism, trade and energy over the years and would continue to take the cooperation to "new heights". The US sees India as a strategic partner, "leading power" and what former prime minister (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee correctly called "natural allies" in the Indo-Pacific region, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said, describing the country as a potential regional trade hub for American businesses.
- US-India relationship today is as broad, complex and rich in substance as any bilateral relationship in the world.
- It encompasses the entire spectrum of issues in international affairs," Juster, who was the keynote speaker at the 20th annual gala of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH), said.
- Texas imported USD 3.6 billion worth of goods from India while exported USD 5.1 billion in goods to India, he said, adding the state accounts for over 15 per cent of all US exports to India.
- The US fully appreciates India's growing energy needs and look forward to helping meet those needs with US energy products.
- Indian companies are expanding business in the US and Texas has been a prime beneficiary. For example, JSW Steel is investing USD 500 million in nearby Baytown to refurbish and expand a steel plant.
- A number of US companies have reported "increasing difficulties" in conducting business in China. Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets.
- India can seize the strategic opportunity - through trade and investment - to become an alternative hub for the US business in the Indo-Pacific region.
- No country in the world has more advanced technology than the US and the STA-1 license exception opens the door for India to access that technology.
- There are frictions and frustrations on the trade and investment fronts like limited market access for certain US goods and services, high tariffs, restrictions on the free flow of data and an unpredictable regulatory environment for investors.
- India is projected to spend as much as USD 150 billion on military modernisation over the next decade. India will find no better technology and defence partner than the US, should it decide to invest some of those resources in US equipment.
- The US companies are also increasingly working with the Indian partners to manufacture defence equipment in India, which builds out India's indigenous capabilities and projects a message of strength.
- India has become the first south Asian to get the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status.
- This status will pave way for high-technology product sales to India, particularly in civil space and defense sectors.
- India became the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status.
- India is also the 37th country to be designated the STA-1 status by the United States.
- Traditionally, the US has placed only those countries in the STA-1 list who are members of the four export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG) and the NSG.
- India so far was listed in STA-2 category along with Albania, Hong Kong, Israel, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and Taiwan.