India-USA relationship is characterized by tensions and cooperation. Can India’s AtmaNirbhar strategy might accentuate the tensions?
- January 19, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPS Topics
India-USA strategic partnership has emerged as a significant development in two countries foreign policies which during cold war found each other in opposite camps. Current partnership is characterized by tensions as well as cooperation.
Areas of increasing cooperation (Mention all such areas where two are coming closer and explain them)
- Defence: USA has emerged as major defence partner of India by signing 3 foundational agreements bringing India nearer to NATO-ally status.
- Security: The two have common concerns over terrorism, particularly that originating from Afghanistan. USA has continuously talked of increase role of India.
- Geo-Political convergence: Two have common adversary in China on multiple issues. It is evident in Indo-Pacific strategy and platforms like QUAD.
- Global problems: One being oldest and other being largest democracy is invested in addressing global problems like climate change, cyber security etc.
Areas of tensions:
- Trade: USA continuously raising Balance of Trade issue which is in India’s favour.
- India out of Generalized system of preferences which increases India’s export cost.
- USA’s visa regime which has been in flux impacting Indian immigrants
- USA clubbing India with China on issues like climate change, human rights violations etc.
- India’s role in Afghanistan not clear (It is largely out of framework of talk between USA-Taliban)
AtmaNirbhar Strategy of India is to develop a self-reliant India. Many see it as a challenge in evolving India-USA relationships. The challenge is w.r.t the biggest irritant i.e. trade. Critics argue that AtmaNirbhar strategy is against globalization and accentuate USA taking routes of WTO or sanctions in future. It may entail a cost for India’s defence deals and nuclear deal in future.
However, AtmaNirbhar strategy needs to be looked from the design perspective which will not be an irritant in relationship.
- Self-reliant India: It is good for security of the region as current dependence on China makes it very tough to take strong positions as in QUAD.
- Boost global supply chain: Strategy to fix the gap in global supply chain due to China reorienting its economy as well as economic setback amidst pandemic.
- Not self-containment or import substitution: Rather it is building and capacity enhancement in sector which needs government support to boost export.
- National Interest: Even USA is going forward for America First. Thus, foreign policy is first about national interest.
AtmaNirbhar strategy of India is not a potential irritant in India-USA relationship. However, steps should be taken to allay any concerns USA may have through platform like 2+2 partnership.