Ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s arrival in New Delhi, a prime US lawmaker Tuesday advised him that there’s lack of predictability and coherence in America’s strategic relationship with India.
Congressman Eliot L Engel, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in a letter urged Pompeo to not solely reaffirm and strengthen the US-India strategic partnership, but additionally convey a coherent set of aims and predictability to the brand new Indian authorities that may assist this relationship attain its full potential.
“I am deeply concerned by the inconsistencies between the administration’s rhetoric and actions toward India, which are further exacerbated by the lack of a confirmed assistant secretary more than two years into this administration’s term,” Engel stated in his letter to Pompeo.
He stated tensions have elevated over all sides’s tariff insurance policies, beginning with the US “Section 232” tariffs on metal and aluminum.
There is a rising view that the administration is making an attempt to coerce India into complying with the US calls for on a spread of points, fairly than negotiating with them as a strategic companion, Engel stated.
“The threats to strip India of its privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences in the middle of the country’s general election has furthered the notion that the administration sees the India relationship as a transactional one. And the decision to end waivers related to the US sanctions on Iran could alienate India when we need to be working with our partners to prevent destabilising Iranian activities,” he stated.
According to the highest head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the administration’s insurance policies haven’t solely failed to advance the US aims, however have additionally launched important friction in its partnership with New Delhi.
The commerce considerations are actual, and the United States should proceed to work with the Indian authorities on market entry and different vital points like worldwide baby abduction and human rights, he stated.
“But the administration must also demonstrate a predictable, coherent, and consistent strategy that strengthens the US-India cooperation, especially in areas where our interests and values align. It’s critical that American engagement support those in India who seek to further strengthen India’s ties to the United States,” Engel demanded.
The measure and power of bilateral relationships, he argued, can’t be boiled down to commerce deficits and tariffs.
The inconsistent US method towards India dangers setting again the strategic partnership that the 2 nations have labored for many years to domesticate, he added.
“I urge you to use your visit to not only reaffirm and strengthen the US-India strategic partnership, but also convey a coherent set of objectives and predictability to the new Indian government that will help this relationship reach its full potential,” Engel stated.