Our two-speed ties with the US need convergence 

News: The four-nation Quad summit is going to be held in Japan. The leaders will meet in-person. The US President and Prime Minister of India are going to meet in-person and have talks on bilateral relations. 

What is the convergence of interests between India and the US? 

Both countries have acknowledged that there is a “growing strategic convergence” between India and the US. For example, China. 

Both democracies have security concerns over Beijing’s muscle-flexing in the Asia theatre. Both are working to check this threat.  

What are the challenges? 

New Delhi’s position on Russia. Our stance has not been condemned outright by US politicians. 

Both nations have neglected mutual engagement in the critical area of economic relations. Both have not joined any large and meaningful trade pact in Asia.  

The US walked out of what is now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and India walked out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China is a member of both. Therefore, it would help China to consolidate its position as Asia’s predominant economic and trade powerhouse. 

India-US relationship is also shadowed by India’s strong relations with Russia and India’s position on Russian invasion of Ukraine.  

Way Forward 

India’s neighbourhood concerns and energy vulnerability should be handled through India’s strategic autonomy on its geopolitical position. 

The US announced for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), for its renewed trade thrust in the Indo-Pacific region. It would include four pillars: (1) fair and resilient trade, (2) supply-chain longevity, (3) infrastructure (including clean energy) and tax and (4) anti-corruption measures. The IPEF will involve “fairness” over labour issues.  

The glue of cooperation for mutual benefit invariably lies in economic partnerships. Therefore, the US should come up with greater clarity on the IPEF.  

Source: The post is based on an article “Our own-speed ties with the US need convergence” published in the Livemint on 2nd May 2022. 

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