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The U.S.-India Partnership: Ambition and Achievement

  • The booklet explores the story of the U.S.-India relationship, one of the world’s most consequential partnerships in the 21st century.

Preface

Hello Friends!

As the U.S. Ambassador to India, it gives me great pleasure to introduce this booklet on the partnership between the United States and India.  We want to share with you the many contributions to the continued progress in bilateral ties from so many people on both sides of the relationship.

It has been a great honor to lead the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Mission to India, both American and Indian, to support this progress.  Reflecting the incredibly wide-ranging U.S.-India relationship, our team includes dozens of U.S. agencies at the Embassy in New Delhi; Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai; the North India Office; and the U.S. Commercial Service offices in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.  Together, we have the privilege of representing the many friends and partners of India in the U.S. federal, state, and local governments, and among the American people. (Read more)

 

Introduction

Greetings and Namaskar!  This is the story of the U.S.-India relationship, one of the world’s most consequential partnerships in the 21st century.  It is a story of increasing convergence between natural partners, featuring dynamic individuals and great institutions.  It is a story of geopolitics and trade, new ideas and scientific breakthroughs, ambition, vision, and achievement.  Already, U.S.-India cooperation has improved the lives of millions.  Today, it offers an even greater potential to increase peace and prosperity around the world. 

When U.S. President Donald J. Trump met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2020, they highlighted the impact of our shared progress on the world, declaring our relationship a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.  In doing so, they recognized that the United States and India work together across the full range of human endeavor, driven by expansive people-to-people ties, common interests, the promise of innovation and growth, similarities as diverse democracies, and the responsibility of global leadership.  Today, the United States and India are cooperating to tackle challenges around the world, to improve the lives of billions of people, to set a standard for other countries to follow, and to join with like-minded countries to sustain the rules-based international order.  (Read more)

 

U.S.-India Relations and the Indo-Pacific

The United States has always shared a common destiny with India and the Indo-Pacific region.  From our first trading ships that departed for Guangzhou and Puducherry after the American Revolution, to our initial diplomatic presence in Kolkata in 1794, the United States has long been a part of what is now known as the Indo-Pacific.   

Over time, we have become increasingly connected with the region that stretches from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast of Africa, through trade, culture, immigration, religion, and geopolitics.  Americans across the country have been engaged with the Indo-Pacific, from financial firms on the East Coast to farms in the Midwest.  But among the strongest ties have been with West Coast states, stretching from California to Alaska, as well as Pacific states and territories such as Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  The people and identities of these areas are connected with the waters, cultures, and development of the Indo-Pacific. (Read more)

 

Defense, Counterterrorism, and Law Enforcement

As the world’s two largest democracies, the United States and India share a responsibility to protect our citizens and help provide security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.  As proud nations with long histories of achievement and contributions to humanity, we are committed to defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity from external coercion.  And as entrepreneurial nations, we understand that prosperity and development require security.   

Drawing on these shared principles and with firm support from our citizens, the United States and India have steadily increased cooperation among our defense and security forces through information sharing; defense planning, exercises, and exchanges; defense industrial cooperation; and counterterrorism and law enforcement activities.  This has involved sharing some of our countries’ most sensitive information and technology, as well as dedicating substantial personnel and resources to joint efforts. (Read more)

 

Trade, Investment, and Economic Growth

Trade and investment have long been at the heart of the U.S.-India relationship.  For over 200 years, Americans and Indians have displayed an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit in traversing the Indo-Pacific region to exchange goods and services, collaborate on joint enterprises, and spur innovation.  They have been drawn by mutual goodwill, the size of our respective markets, unique products and comparative advantages, and the creativity and productivity of our peoples. 

This commerce has grown over time as travel has become easier and technology has improved.  Efforts by our governments have played an important role supporting these exchanges.  For more than 200 years, U.S.-India trade has had a wide and lasting impact on our economies and societies.  Our age-old connections are visible in historical buildings that bear witness to the many years of U.S.-India trade, in the goods and services we consume in our daily lives, and in the very people who make up our nations today.  (Read more)

 

Energy

The United States and India have a long history of energy cooperation, bringing together the best of our people, our industry, our non-governmental organizations, and our governments.  These collaborative efforts across diverse forms of energy have powered economic growth and raised living standards.  Progress in U.S.-India energy cooperation has boosted our economies and contributed benefits ranging from electrifying factories and powering the transport of agricultural products to improving the comfort and safety of our homes. 

Our energy cooperation has drawn on the talents and creativity of our peoples, and on the bountiful resources of our lands.  We have shared our innovation and our technologies with one another to produce and use energy in ways that brought opportunity to our nations.  Our success has given both of our countries the energy security needed to reduce external pressure or dependencies, and to preserve the sovereignty we value so highly. (Read more

 

Health and Biomedical Innovation

Driving innovation to solve the health and biomedical challenges facing our citizens and those of other countries is one of the oldest and most successful areas of cooperation between the United States and India.  This success reflects the best that our two countries can achieve together, and has improved the lives of millions of people in India, the United States, and around the world. 

Our national governments, state and local authorities, civil societies, and private sectors have all played important roles in this partnership.  Our joint achievements in health have benefited directly from the dynamic contributions of many segments of our societies, from academic and non-profit institutions to private individuals, charitable entities, and religious organizations.  Together, the United States and India have been leaders in driving path-breaking research and innovation, and expanding the accessibility of quality health services to vulnerable populations. (Read more)

 

Science, Technology, Environment, and Space

The United States and India have long shared a commitment to using science to understand the world and to better the lives of our citizens.  This dedication has been supported by our two governments; non-profit institutions such as universities, civil society, and foundations; private companies; and countless individuals in both countries.  It has been built on a history of exploration and achievement by our peoples, in the case of India stretching back thousands of years.  Our cooperation has drawn on a passion to protect our lands, mountains, air, rivers, and wildlife, which hold sacred meaning for many; and our natural resources, when used responsibly, can both power our development and preserve natural habitats.   

As our bilateral relationship has grown, so have our joint achievements in science, technology, environment, and space.  Our leadership in these fields has helped advance knowledge for the global good.  This leadership has been particularly visible in our cooperation on the shared waters of the Indo-Pacific, on global climate issues, and in space.  Our collaboration has driven economic growth and improved the health of our people.  The importance of our shared leadership will only grow in the coming decades as we work together to address opportunities such as artificial intelligence and space exploration, and challenges such as ensuring clean air, providing access to clean water, and protecting wildlife. (Read more)

 

People-to-People Ties

Despite being on opposite ends of the Indo-Pacific region, the United States and India are bound together by a growing web of personal connections and mutual affinities.  There are few other bilateral relationships in the world where people-to-people ties are as strong and as positive.  These ties offer a variety of direct benefits for our countries, including increased trade and investment, exchanges of best practices in diverse fields, sharing of cultures and religions, and opportunities for study and research.   

A Long and Diverse History of People-to-People Ties  

Strong people-to-people ties between the United States and India date back over 200 years, to the earliest days of the United States and well before India’s independence.  Early interactions between Americans and Indians were driven by trade, starting with Captain Thomas Bell’s visit to Puducherry and Chennai in December 1784 aboard his aptly-named ship, the United States.  Captain Bell, whose ship brought tobacco, Virginia ginseng, and assorted hardware, was given a friendly reception by the Nawab of Arcot, in modern-day Tamil Nadu.  In fact, the visit went so well that one of the ship’s crew, William Moore, decided to stay in India and manage a warehouse in Puducherry. (Read more)