CUTS Washington Monthly Brief
#32, November 2020
India-U.S. Cooperation Potential under a Biden-Harris Administration
The ensuing Biden-Harris administration reflects a strong American leadership that could address global concerns and challenges on a range of cross-cutting issues to human health, economies and the planet. Biden’s promise of building back better domestically as well as regaining the global reputation of the U.S. as a beacon of international cooperation is truly what the world expects. 

India with its intent and actions in that direction can be a significant enabler for the U.S. to regain that credibility. 

It is evident that the incoming U.S. administration is willing to work together with India and other like-minded countries to resurrect international organisations such as the WHO, WTO and foster international cooperation on issues such as pandemic response and climate change. For example, the nomination of John Kerry who signed the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the U.S. in 2016 as a special presidential envoy for climate is a clear signal. 

Similarly, Joe Biden’s call for unity to fight back and overcome the pandemic together will definitely fill the vacuum felt in the U.S. leadership over the recent past. The U.S. and India with other G20 member nations may now join hands to foster international cooperation in areas of vaccine production and distribution in a more equitable and affordable manner.  
On climate change, partnership with India and the U.K., among others, will not just help the U.S. promote clean energy, but also to advocate it effectively while fostering and strengthening economic and development partnerships for climate friendly infrastructure and exchange of best practices. 

Equally, the new administration has tremendous opportunity to expand bilateral and multi-country efforts in building trusted and resilient supply chains. This is also important to foster defence and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The nomination of Antony Blinken as Biden’s Secretary of State and his views about the increasingly assertive China as a common challenge for India and U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region is abundantly clear on the cementing of future bilateral relations.

Considering Biden’s contribution for the India-U.S. civil nuclear accord in the past coupled with his friendly posture towards India, deepening that sort of economic, environment, development and security cooperation should be par for the course. This confidence was visible from Indian side also as the ruling party BJP’s economic affairs spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal who expressed confidence in resuming talks for a mutually beneficial trade deal with the U.S. and EU, supposedly as an alternative to the recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, where India decided to stay out.

By partnering with likeminded countries such as India, the U.S. can effectively influence fairer globalisation and more inclusive multilateralism that is critical for humanity and the planet to survive.
Pradeep S. Mehta

P.S.: Will a Biden-Harris administration be able to deal with the growing political crisis in Afghanistan in the wake of the recent announcement of reducing the American troops?

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Apple suppliers’ exodus from China won’t slow down under Biden
The splintering of the global tech supply chain that began during President Donald Trump’s watch looks set to persist under his successor. Apple Inc., the largest of the many tech giants that rely on Chinese factories to make their gadgets, will move some production of its iPads and MacBooks to Vietnam.
Asia forms the world's biggest trade bloc, a China-backed group excluding U.S.
Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world's largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump. The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at a regional summit in Hanoi, is a further blow to the group pushed by former U.S. President Barack Obama, which his successor Trump exited in 2017.
A Biden win in U.S. would be good for world trade, says former WTO chief Pascal Lamy
A Joe Biden U.S election victory would be good for global business, according to former World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy. And Lamy believes the way trade is handled will be very different under Biden from the way it was during Trump's reign.
India to seek end of trade wars with US
While regional security issues and sale of defence equipment will continue to occupy prominent space in India’s confabulations with the new US administration, it will seek to restore H-1B visas and roll back trade disputes that have lingered unresolved through the four years of the Trump regime.


Solar power stations in space could solve Earth’s energy needs
It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept – first developed by the Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, in the 1920s – was mainly an inspiration for writers. A century later, however, scientists are making huge strides in turning the concept into reality. The European Space Agency has realized the potential of these efforts and is now looking to fund such projects, predicting that the first industrial resource we will get from space is “beamed power.”
India Climate Agenda for the Biden Administration
With the nomination of John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, the Biden-Harris Administration is signalling serious commitment to climate action in the United States and worldwide. Prioritizing the climate emergency by the new administration is an imperative to drive global ambition in the lead up to the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. No other country presents a greater opportunity for climate cooperation for the Biden-Harris Administration than India.

India, US extend nuclear energy partnership by 10 more years
According to a joint statement issued, "Marking the tenth year of cooperation between the United States and India at the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) and the signing of the extension, for an additional ten years, to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of India Concerning Cooperation with the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, India, signed at New Delhi on November 7, 2010 (the GCNEP MOU)."
The new fuel to come from Saudi Arabia
On the edge of the Saudi Arabian desert beside the Red Sea, a futuristic city called Neom is due to be built. The $500bn (£380bn) city – complete with flying taxis and robotic domestic help – is planned to become home to a million people. And what energy product will be used both to power this city and sell to the world? Not oil. Instead, Saudi Arabia is banking on a different fuel – green hydrogen. This carbon-free fuel made is from water by using renewably produced electricity to split hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules.


Kamala Harris’ victory will have a deep impact on India-US affinities and strategic partnerships
“She is making history. A lotus blooms for the first time in the White House. It’s amazing for me to see a woman of colour, of my heritage to be VP of America. I feel hope for this country and joy!” Our 10-year-old Indian-American granddaughter in New York rejoiced as Kamala Harris became Vice President (VP)-elect. Like millions of girls today in the US who look like her, she can “dream with ambition and lead with conviction”.

US natural partner for India in quest for building resilient economy: Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Underlining that the US is a natural partner for India in the quest for building a resilient economy, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday said the remarkable feature of bilateral ties was the strong bipartisan support in America for strengthening its strategic partnership with India and working together on addressing global challenges.
Biden must not fall into China’s smooth relations trap
Beijing is trying to convince the incoming Biden administration that the U.S.-China relationship can be smooth and positive — but only if Washington dumps the Trump administration’s policies, ignores China’s worst behaviors and pretends everything is fine. That scheme depends on convincing President-elect Joe Biden that maintaining harmony in U.S.-China relations are more important than anything else — a flawed and dangerous premise.
Beyond BECA
India has institutionalized a robust civilian-space agreement with the U.S. through the Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation in 2005 and added a military dimension to it in 2020 when it signed the U.S.-India BECA Agreement. The two countries should now partner to secure each other’s interest in the rapidly-maturing space economy sector.


China's surveillance state sucks up data; US tech is key to sorting it
At the end of a desolate road rimmed by prisons, deep within a complex bristling with cameras, U.S. technology is powering one of the most invasive parts of China’s surveillance state. The computers inside the complex, known as the Urumqi Cloud Computing Center, are among the world’s most powerful.

The US at an Inflection Point
For Biden, the coming years would be of sleepless nights, grassroots communication and significant policy changes that deconstruct and replace the worldview his predecessor had created. This is not going to be easy but the direction he sets would determine the future history and global standing of America. Biden realizes that what is asked of him is to re-transform America and Americans.
Who are America’s Mallakhamb couple that PM Modi mentioned in Mann ki Baat?
In the 70th episode of Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dwelt on Indian sports becoming popular in many countries in the West. He mentioned the US where an ancient Indian form of sports — Mallakhamb — was drawing in a steady stream of players, thanks to the efforts of a couple named Chinmay Patankar and Pradnya Patankar. 
The Biden Administration: Hopes and Aspirations for Indo-U.S. Relations
The U.S. being the oldest and India being the largest democracies, the future of bilateral relations will depend upon how the Biden administration can carry forward the legacy of both its democratic and republican predecessors in deepening the relationship. Having a track record of steering the Indo-U.S. Civil Nuclear Deal and worked with the President Obama in taking the relationships to the higher levels, there remains hopes and aspirations for greater partnerships not just between the two countries, but for ensuring a rules-based Indo-Pacific which is ‘the’ imperative for a balanced global order for underlining peace, security, stability and prosperity. This second edition of the ONW continues to reflect upon such developments.