Nov 11, 2012

US - Indo Relations Change and Continuity

Brief Historical overview of Relations India has a long history of relations with USA that stretches back to pre- independence period. It has been argued that relationship the two has been very strong . The example which is cited in the regard is the visit of Swami Vivekanand who introduced Yoga and Vedanta to America. Vivekananda was the first known Hindu Sage to come to the West, where he introduced Eastern thought at the World's Parliament of Religions, in connection with the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893]. Here, his first lecture started with the line "Sisters and Brothers of America," [2]. This salutation caused the audience to clap for two minutes, possibly because prior to this seminal speech, the audience was always used to the opening address: "Ladies and Gentlemen". It was this speech that catapulted Vivekananda to fame. first, from his large audiences in Chicago and later at numerous other locations in the U.S., including Memphis, Boston, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. After Indian independence until the end of the cold war, the relationship between the U.S. and India was often thorny. Dwight Eisenhower was the first U.S. President to visit India in 1959. He was so supportive of India that the New York Times remarked "It did not seem to matter much whether Nehru had actually requested or been given a guarantee that the U.S. would help India to meet further Chinese communist aggression. What mattered was the obvious strengthening of Indian-American friendship to a point where no such guarantee was necessary." During John F. Kennedy's period as President, he saw India as a strategic partner against the rise of communist China." The Kennedy administration was disturbed by what was considered "blatant Chinese communist aggression against India" after the Sino-Indian War. Kennedy insisted that Washington defend India as it would any ally, saying, "We should defend India, and therefore we will defend India".3] Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Indian Prime Minister, he authorized a nuclear weapons test in Pokhran.The United States strongly condemned the test, promised sanctions, and voted in favor of a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning the test. United States President Bill Clinton then imposed economic sanctions on India. These consisted of cutting off all military and economic aid; freezing loans by American banks to state-owned Indian companies; prohibiting loans to the Indian government for all except food purchases; prohibiting American technology and uranium exports to India; and requiring the United States to oppose all loan requests by India to international lending agencies.[11] However, these sanctions proved ineffective. India was experiencing a strong economic rise, and its trade with the United States only constituted a small portion of its GDP. Only Japan joined the U.S. in imposing direct sanctions, while most other nations continued to trade with India. The sanctions were soon lifted. The Clinton administration and Vajpayee exchanged representatives to help build relations. In March 2000, President Bill Clinton visited India. He had bilateral and economic discussions with Prime Minister Vajpayee. Over the course of improved diplomatic relations with the Bush administration, India has agreed to allow close international monitoring of its nuclear weapons development while refusing to give up its current nuclear arsenal. India and the U.S. have also greatly enhanced their economic ties. Indo - US relations in post 9/11 After the September 11 attacks against the U.S. in 2001, President George W. Bush collaborated with India to control and police the extremely crucial Indian Ocean sea-lanes from the Suez to Singapore. The December 2004 tsunami saw the U.S. and Indian navies cooperating in search and rescue operations and reconstruction of affected areas. An Open Skies Agreement was made in April 2005. This helped enhance trade, tourism, and business by the increased number of flights. Air India purchased 68 U.S. Boeing aircraft, which cost $8 billion. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made recent visits to India as well. After Hurricane Katrina, India donated $5 million to the American Red Cross and sent two plane loads of relief supplies and materials to help. Then on 1 March 2006, President Bush made another diplomatic visit to expand relations between India and the United States.

Military Relations The U.S.-India defense relationship derives from a common belief in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and seeks to advance shared security interests. These interests include maintaining security and stability, defeating terrorism and violent religious extremism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and associated materials, data, and technologies and protecting the free flow of commerce via land, air and sea lanes. In recent years India has conducted joint military exercises with the U.S. in the Indian Ocean. In late September 2001, President Bush lifted sanctions imposed under the terms of the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act following India's nuclear tests in May 1998. The nonproliferation dialogue initiated after the 1998 nuclear tests has bridged many of the gaps in understanding between the countries. In July 2005, President Bush hosted Prime Minister Singh in Washington, DC. The two leaders announced the successful completion of the NSSP, as well as other agreements which further enhance cooperation in the areas of civil nuclear, civil space, and high-technology commerce. In December 2006, Congress passed the historic Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Cooperation Act, which allows direct civilian nuclear commerce with India for the first time in 30 years. U.S. policy had opposed nuclear cooperation with India because the country had developed nuclear weapons in contravention of international conventions and never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The legislation clears the way for India to buy U.S. nuclear reactors and fuel for civilian use. In 2007 the United States and India reached a historic milestone in their strategic partnership by completing negotiations on the bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, also known as the "123 agreement." Economic Relations The United States is also one of India's largest direct investors. From 1991 to 2004, the stock of FDI inflow has increased from USD $11.3 million to $344.4 million, totaling $4.13 billion. This is a compound rate increase of 57.5% annually. Indian direct investments abroad were started in 1992. Indian corporations and registered partnership firms are allowed to invest in businesses up to 100% of their net worth. India's largest outgoing investments are manufacturing, which account for 54.8% of the country's foreign investments. The second largest are non-financial services (software development), which accounts for 35.4% of investments. Trade Relations The United States is one of India's largest trading partners. In 2007, the United States exported $17.24 billion worth of goods to India and imported $24.02 billion worth of Indian goods.[4] Major items exported by India to the U.S. include Information Technology Services, textiles, machinery, ITeS, gems and diamonds, chemicals, iron and steel products, coffee, tea, and other edible food products. Major American items imported by India include aircraft, fertilizers, computer hardware, scrap metal and medical equipment.5 There are five main sub-divisions of the Trade Policy Forum which include: Agricultural Trade group- This group has three main objectives: agreeing on terms that will allow India to export mangoes to the United States, permitting India's Agricultural and Process Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to certify Indian products to the standards of the U.S. The two nations have discussed matters such as those who wish to break into the accounting market, Indian companies gaining licenses for the telecommunications industry, and setting policies by the interaction of companies from both countries regarding new policies related to Indian media and broadcasting. The two countries have had talks about the restriction of investments in industries such as financial services, insurance, and retail. Below are the percentages of traded items India to U.S. increased by 21.12% to $6.94 billion. 1.Diamonds & precious stones (25%) 2.Textiles (29.01%) 3.Iron & Steel (5.81%) 4.Machinery (4.6%) 5.Organic chemicals (4.3%) 6.Electrical Machinery (4.28%) Major items of export from U.S. to India: For the year 2006, figures are available up to the month of April. Merchandise exports from U.S. to India increased by 20.09.26% to U.S. $2.95 billion. Select major items with their percentage shares are given below 1.Engineering goods & machinery (including electrical) (31.2%) 2.Aviation & aircraft ( 16.8%) 3.Precious stones & metals (8.01%) 4.Optical instruments & equipment (7.33%) 5.Organic chemicals (4.98%)

Indo - US relations in Obama Period Barack Obama's swearing in as the 44th president of the United States of America heralds a paradigm departure from the preceding Bush regime, not only in terms of ideology and foreign policy but also in terms of the US approach towards burning issues like terrorism, economic downturn and globalization, all of which will impact India significantly. In this interview with Dr. Rajeev Gowda, faculty in Economic and Social Sciences at IIM Bangalore and an eminent political enthusiast, we bring out the implications of Obama's policies on India on the political, social and economic planes. President Obama's Planned Travel to India While U.S.-India engagement under the Obama Administration has not (to date) realized any groundbreaking initiatives as was the case under the Bush Administration, it may be that the apparently growing -dominance of ordinariness- in the relationship is a hidden strength that demonstrates its maturing into diplomatic normalcy. In this way, the nascent partnership may yet transform into a -special relationship- similar to those the United States has with Britain, Australia, and Japan, as is envisaged by some proponents of deeper U.S.-India ties. As the U.S.President planned his November 2010 visit to India, an array of prickly bilateral issues confronted him, including differences over the proper regional roles to be played by China and Pakistan; the status of conflict in Afghanistan; international efforts to address Iran's controversial nuclear program; restrictions on high-technology exports to India, outsourcing, and sticking points on the conclusion of arrangements for both civil nuclear and defense cooperation, among others. According to some foreign policy experts, Obama's India visit was going to change US approach towards India permanently. This was later proved when President Obama saw India as prominent Future Power on world stage and declared it as one of the important ally to US. US President Obama openly Supports India's Bid for a permanent Seat in the United Nations Security Council. Analyst expressed their views immediately that US now sees India with the same trust as it sees its main ally Briton, Australia and Japan. Obama's India Visit is seen by foreign relation experts as the most successful US Presidential Visit.

In March 2009, the Obama administration cleared the US$2.1 billion sale of eight P-8 Poseidons to India. This deal, and the US$5 billion agreement to provide Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft and General Electric F404 engines announced during Obama's November 2010 visit, makes the U.S. one of the top three military suppliers for India, following Israel and Russia. Conclusion Indo - US relations has gone through many phases during the tenure of different leaders of both countries. In this trajectory there were many ups and down in Indo - US relations. These relations are being said were all time high during the tenure of Bush but since Barak Obama has entered into his office he has maintained cordial relations with India. Both countries are desirous to promote mutual interest. Scholars are of the opinion that growing China is considered threat by US and they are worried with Chinese growing influence in the region they want to counter China. To counter China US has none option other than India. The promotion of India directly is counter to growing and stretching influence of China. India is one of the major importers of US goods. US want to flood Indian markets and to promote its national interest by flooding Indian civil and military demands. US in recent years have shown tilt in Kashmir issue. It has pressed Pakistan to punish 26/ 11 convicts.

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