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All About Commerce: First U.S. Cabinet-Degree Visit To India’s Modi Government

Secretary of State John Kerry has his arms greater than full in dealing with multiple crises in Ukraine and Gaza presently. However he and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker traveled to India last week ostensibly for the fifth edition of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. Not a lot has modified within the strategic positions of each countries since the last such dialogue.

Secretary of State Kerry shakes fingers with Indian Prime Minister Modi

The two real causes for the journey are to prepare for Narendra Modi’s first visit to Washington as India’s Prime Minister and to speed up U.S.-India commerce. So it was no shock that Secretary Kerry welcomed India’s lately raised international-investment ceilings in a number of sectors of the Indian economic system, including defense, railways, e-commerce and insurance.

When President Obama launched his National Export Initiative with the goal of doubling U.S. exports from $1 trillion, I made a prediction that U.S.-India trade would have to greater than double for this to work. True enough, the bilateral commerce between the two nations has increased from $20 billion to $96 billion in a decade. Final yr my firm lauded Vice President Joe Biden’s goal of $500 billion in annual trade with India over the subsequent 5 years. With the new enterprise-friendly authorities in New Delhi, it seems that the Indian economy would possibly just be capable to grow shortly sufficient to assist such a radical growth of goods and companies exchange between the world’s two largest democracies.

History of Success
Boeing exports C-17 army transport aircraft and Dreamliner jets to India. Basic Electric sells giant turbines to help generate electricity in Andhra Pradesh. The Walt Disney Company produces native and global films for Indian audiences. My very own consumer, Paramount Farms, grows the wholesome pistachio nuts in the San Joaquin valley to fulfill the palates of middle-class Indians and provide a protected various to Iranian-grown merchandise. In 2013 over 850,000 Indians visited the United States, and over 1 million Individuals visited India, the most important group of overseas arrivals.

The Ford Motor Company is spending $1 billion to show its new auto plant in Gujarat right into a regional manufacturing and export hub, and both IBM and Hewlett Packard employ more than 100,00 Indians each. American manufacturers loom giant in service businesses similar to hospitality and fast meals, with names similar to KFC, Subway, Sheraton and Hyatt lodges being prized in India.

Crew America
Group America in Delhi, with the presidential palace in background

Speaking about Hyatt brings us again to Commerce Secretary Penny Prizker. The fifty five-yr-old billionaire and campaign supporter of President Obama comes from the family that founded the well-known hotel chain and has 20 properties in India. This Harvard and Stanford graduate additionally constructed thriving companies in real estate and monetary providers before moving on to public service last yr. Pritzker, not Kerry, may be an important American customer to the Modi authorities so far.

Accompanying the Commerce Secretary to India had been two key Indian-American deputies:
– Assistant Secretary Arun Kumar, a former member of the board of the U.S. India Business Council and a holder of an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School. Kumar now runs the U.S. Business Service, and his agency has seven posts in India — New Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai — which gives it the biggest footprint by office rely in any overseas location.
– Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally who leads SelectUSA, the first-ever U.S. authorities effort to promote, attract, retain, and develop enterprise investment to the United States.

Again in 1979 “Barry” Obama was a pupil at Occidental College, not far from where I now stay. That’s when he found his liking for Indian meals similar to dal, and perhaps his alleged fortunate charm of Hanuman, the Hindu demigod. However more importantly, he acquired an Indian-American pal and roommate who can be appointed U.S. Ambassador to Belize when Obama grew to become president of the United States.

The identical Obama good friend is now again in India asking Indians to spend money on America. SelectUSA and Yaduvendra Mathur, Managing Director of the Export-Import Financial institution of India, cemented a partnership on July 30. Both organizations will work together to assist Indian firms and entrepreneurs as they search to invest and create jobs within the United States. This is not outlandish; Indian residents already account for five p.c of actual property purchased in America, a few of it as a option to secure EB1 immigrant visas for his or her kin. Indian firms personal the Pierre Resort on Park Avenue in petroleum refining separation processes 4th edition New York City, significant chunks of the Marcellus oil shale deposits in Appalachia, and a great chunk of Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks movie studios in Hollywood and are investing billions to mine iron ore from the Mesabi Vary in Minnesota.

Indicators of Progress
In Delhi, Pritzker stated main areas the place American firms may also help are infrastructure, manufacturing and business investment. By infrastructure, she meant roads, power, ports, rail, airports, water and sewage, not simply electric power era. India plans to spend over $1 trillion on improving its infrastructure and seeks not solely products and expertise however American debt capital.

During discussions, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gasoline, Dharmendra Pradhan, highlighted the importance of a high stage of import dependence in crude oil by India and invited participation from U.S. oil and gas corporations in India’s exploration efforts and requested America to consider graduation of exports of American crude oil to India. The American aspect also provided to assist in improvement know-how for storage of petroleum refining separation processes 4th edition crude oil in salt caverns.

Utilizing American nuclear energy know-how from Westinghouse and possibly Normal Electric, there may be hope that India will probably be ready to supply 10,000 megawatts of energy at Mithi Vardi in Gujarat within the west and Kowada in Andhra Pradesh within the south. India’s nuclear legal responsibility regulation has some clauses which have triggered American and French corporations to hesitate in shifting ahead to handle this big market alternative. America produces far more nuclear vitality than every other country on the earth at the moment, and I’m hopeful that this stalemate will get resolved in a reasonable time.

India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman apprised Secretary Pritzker of India’s administrative simplifications, government facilitation measures and manufacturing initiatives reminiscent of Particular Financial Zones. Sitharaman also provided an summary of India’s plan for one hundred new good cities to help its urbanization.

What’s Next
Secretary Kerry will get back to the current crises in Europe and the Center East, and I do not expect much progress on the political front within the rapid future. But the industrial discussions between Pritzker’s group and India’s minister and bureaucrats may yield fast and tangible progress by the time Narendra Modi sets foot in Washington next month.

It will also help if a credible excessive-profile U.S. ambassador to India can be appointed very quickly. The quick tenures of Ambassadors Tim Roemer and Nancy Powell have created the sense that the Obama administration is maybe not as critical about India because it claims to be. (Flubs like this one by Congressman Curt Clawson on the House Overseas Affairs Committee hearing on the Kerry-Pritzker go to don’t help both.) President Kennedy sent John Galbraith, and Nixon despatched Daniel Patrick Moynihan. These towering figures have been liked by Indians; actually Galbraith was even awarded the Padma Vibhsuhana, India’s second-highest civilian commendation.

I’m hopeful that India will rise from being the U.S.’s 11th-largest buying and selling associate to amongst the highest seven in the next decade. This requires both governments to work diligently to reduce real and hidden trade boundaries and let corporations and entrepreneurs from each country work together and benefit from their counterparts.