News / Asia

Kerry Looks to Strengthen Ties During India Visit

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on his way to Doha, June 21, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on his way to Doha, June 21, 2013.
Aru Pande
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to India next week to head the latest round of strategic dialogue between two of the world's largest democracies.

In a video message to India ahead of his trip, Kerry repeated President Barack Obama’s sentiment that the U.S.-India friendship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

Kerry cited key areas of collaboration that are already taking place between the two countries. “From higher education to clean energy, from counterterrorism to space science, we are seizing new opportunities to work together, and in doing so, we’re increasing the prosperity and security of both our peoples," he said. "The U.S. and India share a strong enduring commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity.”

The secretary pointed growing bilateral trade, which he said has increased five-fold in the last decade to $86 billion in 2011.

But analysts said the U.S.-Indian relationship is not without its challenges.

While trade has increased in the defense sector, Washington has called for greater access for its goods to the Indian market.  For its part, New Delhi wants a friendlier U.S. immigration policy that will make it easier for highly skilled Indian workers to enter the American job market.

Former Indian ambassador and United Nations special envoy S.D. Muni said these issues are not new and must be worked through in order for the relationship to reach a higher level.

“The potential of Indo-US relations depends on all these legitimate concerns to be smoothened and harnessed, because in no way have the India and U.S. reached their full potential. In fact, Indian-Chinese trade is much more than Indo-U.S. trade and U.S.-Chinese trade is huge as compared to Indo-U.S. trade,” stated Muni.

A group of American lawmakers recently joined the National Association of Manufacturers and other U.S. business organizations in urging President Obama to take action against the Indian government for what they said are discriminatory trade practices.

In a letter to Obama, U.S. business groups refer to Indian court rulings, which they say have repeatedly ignored internationally recognized rights, including “denying, breaking, or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications.”
 
The Indian Supreme Court in April rejected pharmaceutical company Novartis’ attempt to patent a new version of a cancer drug - a landmark decision that allows Indian companies to continue making cheaper, generic versions of the medication.
 
Bharat Karnad with the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research said the issue will likely come up during next week’s strategic dialogue.  “The problem is, of course, the Indian court's ruling that in terms of life-saving drugs and medicines that the patent laws can be breached, because that is more important," he said. "[The court found] it’s more important to save lives than to ensure profits for American pharmaceutical concerns [companies]. That is a difficult issue, and I am not sure what the resolution is considering the stance that the Indian courts have taken.”
 
Karnad said the U.S. and India should focus on the bigger picture - and collaborate closely as both nations look to increase influence and investment in the Asia-Pacific.

The pivot towards Asia is one of the Obama administration’s key foreign policy initiatives, and India, for many years, has also had a “look East” policy.  Karnad recalls former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said during a 2011 visit to India that the South Asian nation should not just look East, but “engage East and act East.”

“If India were to do that and firm up its security cooperation with the Southeast Asian nations, with Taiwan, the Philippines and all those other countries, Vietnam in particular, and have the larger overarching structural link-ups with United States, Japan and the far-east -- then you have a very viable security architecture,” stated Karnad.

Kerry on Sunday travels from Doha to New Delhi, where he will give a policy speech. He chairs the fourth annual strategic dialogue and holds talks with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid before heading to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohanan from: Chennai
June 23, 2013 5:03 AM
Other than business deals, America and India can make rapid and vast changes in the world so that peace will prevail in the earth where we dwell on it. For example, lust on others land, encroachment, maritime insecurity, illegal demand of certain group of people and ultimately they becomes terrorists. Therefore, america and India along with allies should join hands and do all kinds of options.


by: Mohan from: Chennai
June 23, 2013 4:36 AM
Business relationship alone will not help both the countries to cement the relationship. There are many unresolved problems worldwide, which both U.S. and India can jointly solve. For example, maritime freedom, lust on others land, hierarchy, trying illegal domination over other countries etc. etc are the top most priority. America and India should jointly look into all those and solve it so that peace will prevail in earth.


by: Gary Zaetz
June 22, 2013 1:13 PM
On Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake pointed out on the Facebook site for the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs that Secretary of State Kerry will be visiting India from June 23- 25. The announcement also asked visitors the following inane question: “Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to India this weekend. Can you recommend some foods he should try while he is there?” , rather than asking people what he thought he should actually do for the American people while he is there. Here is the response I posted to that site: “The American people, Mr. Blake, should be more concerned with what he will do to further American interests in India during his visit than anything as frivolous and unimportant as what he is going to be eating. For instance, I'm more interested in what he is going to do to get the Indian Government to finally allow expedited recovery of the remains of 400 American soldiers lost in India during World War II !!"...Gary Zaetz, nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz, whose remains at his documented World War II crash site in India have not been permitted by the Indian Government to be recovered, in violation of US-India bilateral agreements and international humanitarian law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid