Modi’s New Era Has Begun

Modi’s New Era Has Begun

07.31.14 | By Jay Taylor

Following up on our May post, the next chapter in the rebuilding of the U.S. – India relationship has begun, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker are in India to meet with their counterparts in the new Indian government. Secretary Kerry will partake in the fifth U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue and also meet with Prime Minister Modi, the first meetings to occur between high-ranking officials from the U.S. and India since Modi’s election in May. They will also lay the foundation for Modi’s anticipated visit to the U.S. in September, the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that the U.S. – India relationship is indeed back on track.

While the U.S. and India benefited from a prosperous relationship during the 1990s, it has soured in recent years due to India’s adoption of industrial policies that harm foreign competitors and have also affected our diplomatic ties. To the rest of the world, Mr. Modi’s May 2014 election was a harbinger of new beginnings, as he declared throughout his campaign that India was “open for business.” As the world’s largest democracy and second largest country, India is a nation that the U.S., and the rest of the global economy, must engage.

The Modi Administration is still young but the work that it must accomplish is evident. Although India was once a global economic power, its actions in recent years have stifled its growth and steadily isolated it from the global economy.  As highlighted in his campaign platform, Modi understands that innovation is critical to reinventing the Indian economy.  The prioritization of innovation will help sustain the Indian economy for years to come as well as ultimately increase Indian citizens’ access to new, innovative treatments.

If the U.S. and India continue to strengthen their current relationship, the impact could stretch far beyond economic effects. The National Bureau of Asian Research recently released a report which made the point that a strong U.S. – India relationship could allow them to work together to improve relations between other nations including Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia. If the leaders meeting today can keep this larger picture in mind, resolving their economic differences may be realized sooner rather than later.

PhRMA and its member companies remain optimistic about growing the U.S. – India partnership and hope this week’s discussions will build upon the great work that has already been accomplished between these two powers. Although there is still much work to done, we continue to be hopeful that Mr. Modi’s election presents a new beginning in our relationship.  

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