India-US ties were elevated to “comprehensive global strategic partnership” during President Donald Trump’s visit to India in 2020. Just days before the presidential elections in November, the two countries held the US-India 2+2 framework, making India just the second country to have this kind of dialogue, which has become the leading mechanism to discuss issues across the breadth and depth of the relationship.
Ties between the countries transcend party politics, so the incoming Biden administration should lead to ever closer relations between the countries. Biden has long been an advocate of deeper ties with India, going back to his days as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
However, it could also see a realignment of priorities. With India’s increasing concern over China’s growing presence in the Indo-Pacific, and the US also seeking to counter China’s growing global influence, India and the US could further develop a close defence and security relationship.
But overall, a Biden administration would likely be a less abrasive and more traditional partner for India that seeks continuity in deepening bilateral ties, built on a foundation of shared values. The Biden administration has several Indian origin officials in senior positions – more so than the Trump and Obama administrations – which could act as a natural bridge between the two countries. Visas, job creation, startups and tech, energy and climate change, space and more will be on the agenda for discussion as both countries emerge out of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
Our session brings together senior stakeholders from the US and India to explore the form this partnership could take over the coming four years.
- Ambassador Arun Singh, Senior Counsellor, The Cohen Group; former Indian Ambassador to the United States, France and Israel
- Dr Mukesh Aghi, President & CEO, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum
- Sarah Stewart, Executive Director, Silverado Policy Accelerator; formerly US Office of the Trade Representative
- Aparna Pande, Director, Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia, Hudson Institute
- Sangeeta Waldron, author, lecturer and Founder, Serendipity PR (moderator)