USIBC gives major recommendations to Biden administration to strengthen India-US ties


US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (Image Source: Twitter/Billy Joel)

On Tuesday on the occasion of India’s 72nd Republic Day, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) suggested a series of major recommendations to the Biden administration to strengthen the India-US ties, including reconstitution of the existing US-India Trade and Commercial dialogue and forming a new digital partnership under the leadership of US Vice President Kamala Harris.

The recommendations include:

  • Reimagining and reconstitution of existing US-India Trade and Commercial Dialogues into a single US-India Strategic Trade Dialogue (USISTD)
  • Forming a new US-India Global Digital Partnership (USIGDP) with Harris as the head 
  •  Restructuring the US-India Health Dialogue to expand the mandate and include private sector participation, according to the USIBC.
  • Restructuring the US-India Strategic Energy Dialogue to include Climate and Sustainable Growth and form a US-India Scholars Endowment to support higher education exchanges.

The USIBC suggested that the new USISTD should be co-chaired by the US Secretary of Commerce, the US Secretary of State, and the US Trade Representative, who would invite the Government of India to name similar counterparts. It also recommended that the two sides should set up an expert group consisting of senior officials, industry representatives, and academic thought leaders to build a document for discussion under the USISTD. It further said that the USISTD should concentrate on the reduction of trade impediments to strengthen the strategic relationship and help a goal of $500 billion in two-way trade by 2024 and both the governments must build a comprehensive “wish list” of core issues of importance to industry for USISTD to be a success.

While USIBC proposed the formation of USIGDP to facilitate talks between critical stakeholders across government and industry. It also said that USIGDP should be headed by Harris, who would delegate critical elements of the discussion to relevant departments or agencies. It also added that appropriate counterparts could be identified within the Prime Minister’s Office through discussions with the Government of India. USIBC said: “The Biden administration should invest in partnerships that position the US and India to lead the next generation of technology development.” 

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic that reshaped the global health discussions and scenarios, USIBC suggested restructuring and re-energizing the US-India Health Dialogue to create a forum that can discuss important policy issues in a post-pandemic world. It said that US-India Health Dialogue should promote economic, trade, health, and social collaboration between the two governments and private sector institutions from both countries. 

The USIBC noticed that in recent years climate goals haven’t been discussed much during the US-India Strategic Energy Dialogue. It stated that with the appointment of US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, it is a good time to reintroduce climate into the existing dialogue.

USIBC President Nisha Desai Biswal said: “As leaders around the globe reconsider their approach to global trade and investment, both the US and India can and should do more to achieve the shared goal of $500 billion in two-way trade.”

USIBC is a business advocacy group that encourages the private sectors of both India and the United States to enhance investment flow. It stated that the recommendations reflect the organization’s view that the natural partnership between the two nations can be used to strengthen both countries’ economic growth. 

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