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India–US relations face hurdles March 1, 2015

Posted by nishankmotwani in : Guest authors, India , comments closed

Dr Biswajit Dhar

Economic relations between India and the United States seem to be going well. This was recently reinforced in New Delhi with Prime Minister Modi and President Obama endorsing the India–US Delhi Declaration of Friendship. But beneath the friendly joint statement of a new economic partnership lie considerable differences on critical issues of economic significance. These hurdles need to be overcome in order to strengthen bilateral relations.

PM Modi and President Obama

India has repeatedly voiced concerns that its IT-driven services sector faces several barriers to entry into the US market. And recently proposed policy changes are threatening to exacerbate the problem. India has consistently raised these issues with the World Trade Organization (WTO), but its demand for a less restrictive regime for service providers has failed to cut any ice with countries like the US. (more…)

‘A continuum of security requirements’: The US Pacific Command and the rise of the Indian Ocean April 3, 2013

Posted by nishankmotwani in : DeSilva-Ranasinghe, Serge, India, South Asia - General , comments closed

Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe

As the US refocuses its attention to the Asia Pacific region, it is also seeking to augment its presence in the unstable and heavily contested Indian Ocean Region. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, who commands the US Pacific Command, or PACOM, talked to Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe on the programme he is spearheading to reposition the US military footing towards the Indian Ocean and the revitalised strategy to engage South Asia and Australia.

How is the Indian Ocean of relevance to the US Asia Pacific rebalance?

Admiral Locklear: Whether the name is Indo-Pacific or something else, when I am sitting in my office looking at a pretty detailed chart of my entire jurisdiction, I view it as a continuum of security requirements, not broken down by historical perspectives of the different oceans. I think ‘one continuum’ is a good concept. However, it’s not just about the Indian Ocean. It’s about the connectivity of these large economies, the large core populations, and how things have to move.

Take that to the next level and you have the cyber commons and the space commons. Ships and airplanes travelling across the Indian Ocean, whether it be to the Arabian Gulf or through the Straits of Malacca, are critical for trade and flow of energy sources. The PACOM helps protect these routes.  (more…)

India, the ‘New Asia’ and the American presidential elections September 26, 2012

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, India, Stoddart, Brian , comments closed

Brian Stoddart

Any American presidential election reverberates around global policy corners but, for India, the 2012 contest carries unusual significance. With its economy slowing, national government under severe pressure, and competition with China over ‘new Asian power’ status sharpening, India has a strong stake in the November result. Superficially, India could be contented. A late 2011 Congressional Research Service report shows two-way trade totalling approximately $US50 billion.

The US is India’s largest direct investment partner at over $16 billion, and one of its largest trading partners. As India’s economic growth flourished, American interest and investment soared. The highpoint was America’s 2008-9 agreement on nuclear development and trade – as for Australia a few years later, that was the cost of doing business with India.

Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009 in what was seen as a further sign of a strong emerging relationship between the two countries. EPA/Shawn Thew

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Rebalancing Asia: Panetta visits India July 24, 2012

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, India, Merrington, Louise , comments closed

Louise Merrington

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to India in June highlighted both India’s increasing importance as a regional balance in the US ‘pivot’ to the Asia Pacific and the extent to which the US–Pakistan relationship has deteriorated in recent months.

Although the US–India relationship reached a high note with the 2008 civilian nuclear deal, several sticking points remain. First, India’s nuclear liability law, designed to guard against a repeat of the Bhopal disaster, made the manufacturers of nuclear reactors liable for accidents caused by faulty equipment. (more…)

The US pivot and India’s look east June 25, 2012

Posted by nishankmotwani in : Guest authors, India , comments closed

Sourabh Gupta

The US and India held their third annual strategic dialogue in Washington on 13 June 2012. At the second dialogue in June 2011, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed India to assume a more proactive leadership role in the Asia Pacific region, exhorting it to ‘not just look east, but continue to engage and act east as well’.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta enthusiastically restated the same message during his recent post-Shangri-La Dialogue swing through New Delhi.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with India's Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna (L) during a joint press conference at the State Department in Washington DC, USA, 13 June 2012. (Photo: AAP)

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India’s civil nuclear commerce: a foreign policy context July 23, 2010

Posted by southasiamasala in : India, Weigold, Auriol , comments closed

Auriol Weigold

Media headlines tell the story of India’s wide appeal as a strategic level partner since the negotiations on the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Agreement made way for the legitimisation of India’s status as a nuclear power.

Since the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) granted India a waiver in September 2008, allowing it to engage in nuclear commerce without signing either the NPT or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (the only country to be able to do so), the IAEA’s requirements are in place and the almost-final sticking point, the reprocessing agreements, have been finalised. This leaves only India’s Nuclear Liability Act outstanding, affecting civilian American nuclear start-ups at already identified sites.

While the U.S. set the process of resuming global nuclear engagement with India in train, India has civil nuclear energy agreements in place with a number of other countries including Argentina, France, Kazakhstan, Namibia, and the U.K. (more…)