‘US should seize the chance to work with Narendra Modi’

Washington: The US should seize the chance to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is focused on economic reforms and America could boost trade with India by supporting its membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, an expert said.

“In Modi, it appears that Washington has at last found a Prime Minister prepared to transform India’s economic relationship with America and officials should seize the chance to work with a leader focused on economic reform and trade,” Alyssa Ayres, a senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in a leading magazine.

“Washington should respond by hustling to secure India’s membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and by developing a path for Indian membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a move that could potentially increase trade between the two nations,” she said.

Ayres noted that it is true New Delhi can be famously tough in trade negotiations and that will not likely change. But the US cannot get to the next level of economic ties with India without a plan.

“Modi wants to accelerate his country’s economic growth and deliver his people from poverty. He sees the US as a country uniquely capable of supporting India’s domestic transformation,” she said.

“Barack Obama, coming out of this symbolic and important visit to India, should demonstrate that Washington will do its part for India’s future by integrating India into economic regimes focused on delivering growth. That would be an ambitious agenda worth pursuing,” Ayres said.

Referring to the US-India joint statement in which US welcomed India’s interest in joining APEC, Ayres said this ended a long period of inexplicable US silence about an anomaly in the trade group, the absence of India, a major Asian economy.

“Now, Washington should get moving to convince all the other APEC members to back India before the annual summit in November. By doing so India would join the US, China and 19 other nations in crafting action plans to reduce trade barriers. It’s a low risk gamble on India’s growth and importance to the Asia-Pacific economy,” she wrote.


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