News / Asia

    India, US Express Optimism After Strategic Dialogue

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (C) watches before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, July 31, 2014.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (C) watches before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, July 31, 2014.
    Anjana Pasricha

    At the conclusion of a strategic dialogue between India and the United States, both countries expressed optimism about improving their ties.
     
    After discussing issues ranging from trade and security to climate change with his Indian counterpart, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that India and the U.S. can become “indispensable partners” in the 21st century.
     
    “The moment has never been more ripe to deliver on the incredible possibilities of the relationship between our nations," said Kerry.
     
    The fifth round of the India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue on Thursday was the first high-level interaction between American officials and India’s new government, installed in May.
     
    The visit is seen as an effort to reverse a downward spiral in bilateral ties.
     
    With a range of differences on issues such as trade, tariffs and price controls, Kerry said that there is work to be done.

     “The words are easy. It is the actions we need to take that will really define the relationship in the days ahead. And I think it is safe to say that I said to the foreign minister, that we all have a lot of homework to do," he said.
     
    Washington’s chief concern remains barriers to trade by India.
     
    These barriers were a focus during Kerry’s visit.  His meetings with Indian officials took place as a deadline loomed over a global trade deal, which India has opposed unless its concerns are met on the right to buy grain from farmers at above-market prices, and stockpile it.
     
    Kerry urged India to join the agreement at the World Trade Organization.  He said he understood India’s concerns about providing food security to large number of poor people, but warned that it could stand to lose if the trade deal was scuttled.

    Meanwhile, India has blocked world trade reforms over demands it be allowed to sell stockpiled food to the poor at subsidized prices.

    Delegates at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva say they missed a deadline for passage of the reforms, saying consequences could be significant.

    WTO members agreed in principle last year to streamline and standardize global customs rule.

    India, however, said it would not back the trade reforms unless it were allowed to have the right to buy grain from farmers at above-market prices, stockpile it, and sell it to the poor at government-subsidized prices.

    WTO rules say stockpiled food can only be sold at market prices.

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the customs reforms would have cut trade costs and generated hundreds of billions of dollars in much needed economic activity.

    Froman said he is disappointed India and its supporters decided not to adhere to their commitments.

    He said the United States will consult with its trading partners on the next step.

    Despite the differences, both sides are keen to collaborate in a range of areas as India focuses on development goals and has indicated that it will undertake more economic reforms.
     
    The U.S. secretary of state said there are “dramatic” opportunities in sectors such as high-end manufacturing, infrastructure, health care, and information technology, where American companies are world leaders and where India is seeking both investment and technology.
     
    Kerry will meet on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Washington in September.

     

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not again from: Canada
    July 31, 2014 10:28 PM
    Basic food grains are strategic assets for a country like India; it has a very unique situation, because of poverty; requiring to feed poor people and requiring to employ vast numbers of rural people which do no have great job prospects. The basic grain programs, that the state is trying to protect, are fundamental to India's internal stability, security, and development. It should not take a genius to understand, that large numbers of rural citizens in India, can't just emigrate to the US silicon valley and get top positions in the industry. Most of the rural population does not have advanced technology degrees coupled with fortunes inherited by spouses; most rural people live on a daily income, that is much less than a cup of trendy Java costs in the US. It is hard to understand as to how come people like the US Secretary has not done a bit of research on the matter before embarking on demands that he should be embarrassed to make. = MUCH, IF NOT MOST OF THE INDIAN RURAL POPULATION IS VERY POOR.
    Failure to provide basic food grains, at affordable prices, to the rural population would cause masive instability in India. Already India is facing a number of internal terrorist insurgencies, including Maoists, that preach a very different approach to India's economy.
    Depriving rural agrarian workers, of a very small basic income, to enable them to purchase the subsidized grains they produce, would be catastrophic for the population's very basic health and well being.
    The secretary, is out to lunch on this issue of basic grain cultivation/subsidized sales; the secretary is amongst the fortunate that at least he can afford a lunch, not so many of the rural people of the far reaches of India, they do not have the same fortune....


    by: slavko
    July 31, 2014 8:42 PM
    With the great amount of poor people in India, India's government is ethically correct and should be supported to stockpile food for her indigent people. It would help strengthen her agricultural sector as well as provide humanitarian aid to her own masses. If the U.S. is indeed India's friend, then US should help support and even muster more support from other WTO members. I am sure that then India would reciprocate in kind.
    In Response

    by: slavko
    August 01, 2014 12:34 AM
    the welfare of people shoud be placed first before that of the welfare of political entities.

    by: CMott from: US
    July 31, 2014 7:45 PM
    This certainly, is an important strategic alliance going forward.

    Wish US can be more sensitive to the needs of this developing nation in service of the poor-at-large in food-security rather pushing the WTO at their somewhat self-serving lobby with disregard for local needs.

    Wonder how this compares with US farm subsidies of over $100B.

    Leaving the food alone, overall, this partnership will prove mutually beneficial for the long term. All the best.

    In Response

    by: slavko
    July 31, 2014 8:44 PM
    well said!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.