Unlike Trump’s outbursts against leaders from Australia and Germany, the Indian Prime Minister was received well. A newly created chamber will now target growth mutually beneficial areas of growth, including, startups, education and innovation.
Following Indian Prime Minister Nadrendra Modi’s recent visit to the States to meet U.S Prime Minister Donald Trump, top U.S. officials are backing new efforts to build a strategic relationship with the Asian giant.
The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) seeks to reset and broaden the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies, and to supplant an existing body under the umbrella of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
While their meeting symbolized a budding friendship, trade between the two countries is slowly taking off with Washington wanting to narrow its $31-billion bilateral deficit.
“What we are announcing today is an organization redesigned for the future,” said John Chambers, the executive chairman of Cisco Systems Inc, who is also chairing the USISPF that was launched on Wednesday.
The developments follows a split in the management team overlooking the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), headed by Mukesh Aghi, who has recently joined the organization.
The new body will not only focus on trade but also promote startups, education and innovations.
“India is moving faster than any other country in the last three years,” said the Chamber to reporters. “India used to be known as a very slow follower, and now it’s a fast innovator.”
As per a source familiar with the creation of the new chamber, the creation was motivated in part by perceptions that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had become too close to the Republican Party, and that it tended to deliver public lectures detrimental to the two-way relationship.
This pertains to the issues of the H-1B visas which are widely used by India’s $125 billion software industry which sends it engineers and software developers to the States for projects.
Officials from the Trump administration have been briefed on the strategic initiative and were supportive of it, said a source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Significantly, despite clashing with leaders from Australia and Germany, Trump turned on his charm offensive for Modi.
As per the new Chamber, the Trump administration’s commitment to India was “unparallelled”. In fact, “This is the only strategic partnership that the Trump administration has really talked about.”