India, U.S. 2+2 Dialogue in Limbo
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
In News: The US had postponed the 2+2 dialogue, a new dialogue format that was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017. After June last year, the two countries have tried to schedule the dialogue many times with several dates having been considered.
The ‘two-plus-two dialogue’:
The dialogue is seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries. It’s a constructive way for like-minded nations in the region to have a chance to share views and to coordinate to the extent possible to ensure that they reach their mutual objectives in the region.
- Will be on the lines of India-Japan 2+2 (diplomatic and security) dialogue format that began in 2010
- To replace the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the foreign and commerce ministers of the two countries held under the previous Obama administration.
Objective: To discuss strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation as the US and India jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond
Rift between India and US:
- On Iran Sanctions: India had refused to cut down on all oil supplies from Iran. In other words, India is unwilling to accept US diktat on stopping all oil imports from Iran – Link
- On India’s plans to acquire the Russian S-400 missile system: Indo-US ties are also being tested over defence supplies from Russia including S-400 missile defence system and impending sanctions if India went ahead with the purchase.
- Trade protectionism of Trump administration has forced India to impose retaliatory measures. We recently read that India has notified higher tariffs on several items imported from the U.S.
- Several issues/disputes in World Trade Organisation (WTO); Trade protectionism; Disputes on the new American steel and aluminium tariffs; disputes on Indian price reductions on medical devices
- Harley-Davidson motorcycles row – US calling for India to scrap its 75-100% tariffs-
The inaugural ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ between India and the US will be held on September 6 in New Delhi.
On the Table for Discussions:
- Defence purchases, Defence exercises and Terrorism
U.S needs to understand that it cannot push India around. It is an impingement on India’s strategic autonomy to be able to take care of its own economic interests. India is an energy deficient country and needs energy for economic growth.
It is time for both sides to once again demonstrate that the rhetoric of the US-India relationship matches the reality, and find a way forward that addresses the sanctions issues without jeopardizing the overall upward trajectory of the partnership.