Bilateral trade between India and the US reached an all-time high last year and is set to grow further, Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary has said.
“The United States is home to the largest Indian diaspora outside of Asia. It serves as India’s largest export market. Bilateral trade between our two countries reached an all-time high last year, and we expect it to grow further in the years to come,” Yellen said at a Microsoft research facility in the outskirts of Delhi on Friday.
Highlighting the importance of the technology sector in building a dynamic relationship, the US Treasury Secretary said people and companies in both countries depended on each other on a daily basis.
“Indians frequently use WhatsApp to communicate; many American companies rely on Infosys to operate. Leaders of Indian descent populate the highest ranks of Google, Microsoft, and other valuable American companies. They’re also responsible for starting a third of all immigrant-founded startups in the United States,” she pointed out.
Top trading partners
The US became the top trading partner of India in 2021-22, with bilateral trade touching the highest ever level of $119.5 billion, pushing China to the second position. India’s exports to the country were valued at $ 76.16 billion while its imports were at $43.3 billion creating a trade surplus of $32.85 billion for the country.
Referring to Russia’s on-going aggression in Ukraine, the Treasury Secretary said tens of millions more people faced extreme poverty and hunger the war began. “Prime Minister Modi was correct when he said that this `is not an era of war’. I believe that ending Russia’s war is a moral imperative. It is also the single best thing we can do to help the global economy,”
Without directly referring to India’s continued closeness with Russia in economic matters despite the on-going Ukraine war, Yellen said that Russia had long presented itself as a reliable energy partner but Putin was weaponising Russia’s natural gas supply against the people of Europe. “It’s an example of how malicious actors can use their market positions to try to gain geopolitical leverage or disrupt trade for their own gain,” she said.
The US is pursuing an approach called “friendshoring” to diversify away from countries that present geopolitical and security risks to our supply chain, she said, adding that the country was proactively deepening economic integration with trusted trading partners like India.
“And we are also addressing our reliance on manufacturers whose approaches clash with our human rights values,” she added.