Asserting that India and the United States share a strong bilateral relationship, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said there is a great potential for the trade to grow between the two countries that will benefit their working people.
She also said the US and India have a strong belief in democratic values and a commitment to upholding the rules-based international order, especially at “this time of geopolitical risks”. “We have a very strong bilateral relationship with India. I expect we will discuss efforts to strengthen the resilience of supply chains, issues pertaining to climate change, our great global climate ambition and climate finance,” Yellen told PTI in an exclusive interview on Monday.
“We certainly hope to deepen our trade relationship. We think there’s great potential to grow our trade in ways that will benefit the working people of both of our countries,” said the Treasury Secretary, who is headed to India later this week to participate in the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership on November 11. She would also hold a bilateral meeting with Union Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.
“I expect we’ll also discuss the growing debt vulnerabilities in the low and middle-income countries and how we should handle it,” Yellen said. The Department of Treasury, in a statement last week, said throughout her visit to India, Yellen will discuss how the United States and India have worked together to deepen their economic ties. During the visit, she will highlight the close ties between American and Indian people and businesses and note ways how bilateral economic relationship, including through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and stronger supply chains through friend-shoring, will be further improved.
“I think it’s going to be a year (India as G-20 presidency) in which we can make progress on climate change; spillovers that we’re seeing from Russia’s unjustified war in Ukraine, debt issues and debt sustainability, climate action, and rules of the digital economy,” Yellen told PTI. “We’ve been working together very closely in the QUAD, in the Indo Pacific Economic Framework, on a bilateral basis. With the G7, India’s partnering on climate change. We have a shared interest in strengthening our supply chains through…to increase economic integration,” she said. Yellen said the US and India share a strong belief in democratic values and have a commitment to upholding the rules-based international order, especially at “this time of geopolitical risks”.
“These are important strengths and shared values,” Yellen said.
Responding to a question, she admitted that there are some challenges in the bilateral trade relationship. “We are engaged in a Trade Policy Forum where we’re discussing trade issues.” “One of the things we’re focused on is trying to lower non-tariff barriers to trade. These include trade facilitation, logistics and technical barriers to trade that may serve as impediments, are making it more difficult for India and the US to trade. And we think we can through that Forum make progress in boosting our trades,” Yellen said.
The Trade Policy Forum meeting was scheduled to be held here this week but has been postponed due to the upcoming elections in India and the midterm elections in the US, people aware of the development said in New Delhi. The Trade Policy Forum is co-chaired by India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representatives, Katherine Tai. During the interview, Yellen exuded confidence about the growth and future of India’s economy.
“COVID-19 imposed very heavy costs on India. But India is one of the most strongly growing economies around the world. It’s done extremely well. In spite of the headwinds, India’s service sector shows great vitality. India has had great success in attracting foreign direct investment,” she said. “I think India’s macroeconomic fundamentals are strong. I see India is doing extremely, extremely well. Very impressive,” Yellen said. “We expect to have a presentation during our meeting on India’s economy. And I’m looking forward to learning more about India’s policies and how it’s using them to address the global challenges we all face,” she said.