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US, India should drive economic agenda under Quad umbrella, says trade body chief

ANI | November 18, 2021 10:52 AM
the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Dr Mukesh Aghi

By Reena Bhardwaj

Washington [US], November 18 (ANI): Highlighting the need to view the US-India from a broader perspective, the head of a top India-centric American business advocacy group emphasized the need to drive the economic agenda under the Quad umbrella.

While speaking to ANI, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Dr Mukesh Aghi stressed the need to at look at trade ties from a geopolitical perspective.

"Let look at it geopolitically. Biden administration has decided, along with Republicans, that China is an adversary. The three Cs that they apply --- Competition, Cooperation and Containment. From a bigger Quad perspective, the economic agenda plays a bigger role," the trade body chief said.

These remarks were made ahead of the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai's visit to Asian countries. Tai and Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi will travel to India on November 22.

Dr Aghi said, "While the four Quad countries (India, US, Australia and Japan) are having Malabar exercise but they are also focussing on vaccine diplomacy, newer technology or infrastructure. And I think that is where the economic agenda becomes more pivotal."

Urging for a "piecemeal approach" to the whole economic agenda, the trade chief said, "Overall if you look at a relationship on a trade side is improving."

"The numbers are going up. India's exports are up both goods and services and at the same time, the US has become one of the largest trading partners for India. India's FDI from the US is up by 60 per cent. So we see a lot of interest momentum picking up."

He also said that it is important that you basically drive the "economic agenda under the Quad umbrella."

"Pick up 50 items which are on the US side and 50 from the Indian side and work on those and how you can get the export-import going much smoother in that direction."

"You have to understand this is not just about tariffs. Here, there are some issues that are much more complicated. It's about localisation, data protection and privacy. The complexities are much bigger than before 5-10 years ago," he added. (ANI)

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