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Fact Sheet: The U.S.-India Relationship: A Strategic Partnership

September 26, 2008

In Recent Years Our Two Countries Have Developed Greater Ties Across a Broad Spectrum of Fields, Including Energy, Commerce, and Defense

The United States of America and the Republic of India enjoy a strategic and economic partnership unequalled in our history. On July 18, 2005, President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership. Since then, our two countries have made substantial progress in joint cooperation, resulting in a bilateral relationship that is closer than ever before. In 2008, bilateral trade, foreign direct investment, and people-to-people ties are at an all-time high. Trade has almost doubled in the last three years alone, the stock of Indian foreign direct investment in the United States was nearly $3 billion in 2007, U.S. investment in India exceeds $13.6 billion, and citizens of both countries travel back and forth in record numbers.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative

The historic civil nuclear agreement marks the end of 34 years of India's isolation from the global mainstream in civil nuclear energy technology. While working to prevent nuclear proliferation, protect the environment, and enhance energy security, India and the United States have transformed their relationship to one built on trust, mutual benefit, and full civil nuclear cooperation.

  • India has entered into a safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, created a robust national export control system, and continued its commitment to a unilateral testing moratorium.
  • India has also separated its civilian and military facilities, placed its civilian facilities under international safeguards, and committed to help restrain the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technologies.

Economic Cooperation

The economic expansion between the United States and India promotes growth, two-way trade, investment, and energy security. The two countries share fully in the opportunities of a globalized economy. The economic benefits extend from the strategic and military spheres to space and commerce.

  • In 2005, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh agreed to revitalize and expand the U.S.-India Economic Dialogue to focus on finance, trade and investment policy, high-technology commerce, energy, and the environment.
  • More than 99 percent of high-tech trade between the two countries is now unhindered by export licenses.
  • Products such as Indian mangos and American medical devices now cross borders with ease, as do Indian investments in American factories and American investments in Indian facilities and plants across several sectors. The United States and India have also agreed to launch negotiations of a bilateral investment treaty.
  • The United States hopes to work constructively with India to achieve a prompt breakthrough in the World Trade Organization Doha Round negotiations to expand prosperity and fight protectionist sentiment.

Democracy And Human Rights

President Bush and Prime Minister Singh share a strong commitment to fundamental democratic freedoms, institutions, and traditions. Each has expressed his belief that democracy is central to prosperity, development, and peace.

  • The United States and India each contributed $10 million in 2005 to help establish the U.N. Democracy Fund, which finances projects that build and strengthen democratic institutions and civil society, promote human rights, and ensure the participation of all groups in democratic processes. To date, the United States has contributed more than $25 million and India has contributed $15 million to the Fund.
  • The two countries are working together in the newly established Asia-Pacific Democracy Partnership.

Energy And The Environment

The two leaders believe cooperation on energy security, air quality, and climate change contributes to sustained economic growth through increased production and efficiency. U.S.-India cooperation is also strengthening efforts to manage greenhouse gas emissions and cut harmful air pollution without constraining economic development.

  • The United States and India both promote commercial deployment of clean-coal technologies, energy efficiency, methane recovery, renewable energy technologies, oil and gas development, market monitoring, management of energy demand, and emission-free nuclear energy.
  • Through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue, the two countries are well-positioned for lead roles in multilateral initiatives.
  • We have partnered in initiatives such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, Methane to Markets, the Washington International Renewable Conference, and the Major Economies initiative.

Education, Agriculture, Health, And Disaster Management

The United States and India both place a strong emphasis on the value of education, agriculture, and health and will continue to broaden engagement to build on the progress of the last four decades. Such improvements directly benefit the people of both countries and hold hope for more promising livelihoods.

  • Following a milestone Fulbright agreement, the bi-national U.S.-India Education Foundation will award Fulbright-Nehru scholarships in shared priority areas such as management, public policy and democratic governance, agriculture, energy, and the environment.
  • A U.S.-India Higher Education Council will facilitate dialogue between institutions and corporate sectors, with a goal of encouraging cooperative research, teaching, and professional development.
  • The two countries are fostering rural development by building farm-to-market linkages through seed technology, post-harvest management, infrastructure and supply-chain development, and marketing systems.
  • Partnerships in public health, including HIV, tuberculosis, and avian influenza are expanding, and the United States actively supports India's efforts to eradicate polio.
  • India and the United States will conduct training programs to ensure safe and secure handling of potentially dangerous pathogens, including in the areas of medical devices regulation, clinical research, and pharmaceutical oversight.
  • Our two countries share forecasting information and disaster preparedness strategies in order to minimize physical damage and loss of life from natural and other disasters.
  • Both countries jointly agreed to the 2005 Disaster Relief Initiative and have renewed a robust program of peer exchanges, technical assistance, and training.

Defense and Regional Cooperation

The United States and India hold a responsibility as global powers to promote stability and security in Asia and around the world. We are building the foundation of a durable relationship that will support our common strategic and security interests well into the 21st century.

  • President Bush and Prime Minister Singh have greatly expanded efforts in a diverse range of defense activities, including India's continuing participation in joint air, naval, and ground exercises, as well as cooperation in counterterrorism efforts.
  • Significantly, the United States and India share a commitment to Afghanistan, recognizing that rebuilding that nation is critical to combating terrorism and enhancing regional stability and prosperity.
  • In 2005, we signed the New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship, which identified common interests and established an ambitious 10-year program of shared objectives.
  • In the 2006 Maritime Security Cooperation Framework, both countries committed to pursue cooperative efforts to enhance security in the maritime domain, ensure open sea lanes, prevent piracy and other transnational crimes at sea, and build capacity to confront common challenges.
  • We remain committed to bilateral and international efforts to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • The United States and India continue to expand their defense trade. For example, in 2007, the United States transferred an amphibious transport ship to India, and in 2008, India purchased $1 billion worth of transport aircraft from the United States.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: The U.S.-India Relationship: A Strategic Partnership Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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