A strong proponent of closer India-US ties since his days as a senator within the 1970s, US President-elect Joe Biden had played a key role in getting the approval of the Senate for the civil nuclear deal between the 2 countries in 2008 and even co-sponsored several legislations on countering terrorism.
In August 2001, Biden, because the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to the then President George W Bush calling for the removal of sanctions against India.
In the midst of hectic negotiations between the 2 countries to conclude the civil nuclear deal, Biden was a critical ally for India within the Senate
The deal had laid a robust foundation for the deepening of ties between the 2 leading democracies.
“Biden was vice chairman under President Barack Obama and he was considerably a part of the event of the connection . The Indo-Pacific partnership took off under Obama,” said noted strategic affairs expert P S Raghavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a congratulatory tweet on Saturday night, mentioned Biden’s “critical and invaluable” contribution in strengthening the Indo-US relations during his tenure as Vice President and said he was looking forward to working closely together once more to require ties to greater heights.
As vice chairman , Biden visited India in July 2013 on a four-day trip. He called on the then President Pranab Mukherjee, met the then vice chairman Hamid Ansari and visited Gandhi Smriti Museum in Delhi.
He also visited Mumbai where he met a gaggle of business leaders at a round table and delivered a policy speech at the Bombay stock market .
During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US in September 2014, vice chairman Biden hosted lunch for him.
The strategic and defence ties between India and therefore the US witnessed major expansion during Barack Obama’s presidency and Biden had played a key role in it.
It was the Obama administration in 2016 which designated India as a ‘Major Defense Partner’ of the US meaning to elevate defence trade and technology sharing to A level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.
The Obama administration had supported India’s claim to permanent membership of the UN Security Council and significantly boosted cooperation with India to fight terrorism.
In his campaign documents, Biden spoke about his vision for the US-India partnership also as on standing with India in facing threats within the region.
“I see continuity and absolutely no hiccups along the way. There will definitely be a change in nuance in the approach. There was an excellent deal of emphasis on the strategic dimension of the relations under President Donald Trump which will continue under Biden,” said Raghavan.
The ties between India and therefore the US have witnessed a serious expansion within the previous couple of years.
The nearly four-million-strong Indian diaspora within the US has played a crucial role during this regard.
The US is India’s largest trading partner, with a combined value of trade goods and services at USD 149 billion in 2019.
As of 2019, US direct investments in India were estimated at about USD 45.9 billion, whereas Indian foreign direct investment within the US was estimated at USD 16.7 billion.
The bilateral Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) has also witnessed increasing diversification across both conventional and renewable energy sources. With India importing crude and LNG from the US in recent years, the US has emerged as a key partner for India’s energy security.
The two countries elevated the ties to a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership in February 2020.
In the defence and strategic sphere, their cooperation has witnessed significant expansion.
The two countries inked the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that permits their militaries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies also as provide for deeper cooperation.
The two countries signed another pact called COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 that gives for interoperability between the 2 militaries and provides for the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.
Last month, each side inked the essential Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) that gives for the sharing of high-end military technology, geospatial maps and classified satellite data between their militaries.
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