CUTS Washington Monthly Brief
#20, November 2019
Let innovation transform Indo-U.S. relations
With a legacy of supporting Green Revolution that transformed scarcities into abundance, the innovation potential of the U.S. can help address socio-economic disparities in India.  Green revolution was fostered and funded by the U.S through the Ford Foundation in 1961. Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug was the American scientist behind a new wheat seed.
Although, criticism about the negative impacts of Green Revolution do exists, yet it remains a substantial evidence of the food shortages being revolutionised into surpluses at the time India grappled with devastating famines. Therefore, while appreciating the positive sides, it is time to get rid of dogmatic sentiments and instead take active part in channelizing Indo-U.S. innovation cooperation for addressing socio-economic disparities in India more effectively.
For India, innovation and entrepreneurship remain critical for increasing productivity, economic growth and development. U.S. interests lie in the market potential and talent pool that India can provide to its innovation centric companies.
Bilateral initiatives that encourage innovation to play a greater role in steering socio-economic development in the two countries do exist. Government to government initiatives such as the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, the United States-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund and Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, among others, are testimonies to this fact.
At a recent U.S.-India Innovation Roundtable organised by CUTS International, in partnership with the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, on 30 October 2019 in Washington DC, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Indian Ambassador to the USA underlined the significance of bilateral innovation cooperation to pursue win-win outcomes. “India—a young country brimming with talent and future entrepreneurs—is the ideal destination for U.S. expertise and capital. U.S. is also the repository of cutting-edge technology that is highly relevant to what India requires for its economic growth and development”, said Shringla. 
In essence, the governments and private players on both the sides should further explore deeper linkages and expand the bilateral innovation cooperation in defence & aerospace, energy & environment, information & communication technology, emerging technologies & digital infrastructure, entrepreneurship and inclusive growth, infrastructure and manufacturing, and healthcare, among others.
Pradeep S. Mehta

P. S. CUTS International is organising the India leg of ‘Fostering Indo-U.S. Innovation Cooperation for Mutual Prosperity, roundtable in partnership with the U.S. India Business Council, on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in New Delhi. The objective of the roundtable is to enhance mutual understanding about the role of innovation in major and strategic sectors as well as the pain points towards their uptake from policy and regulatory perspective. The sectors in focus include, but are not limited to, Defence & Aerospace, Energy and Data & Technology

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Trump might lose the US–China trade war
The US–China trade war originated from US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda. It is the centrepiece of his administration’s challenge to multilateralism and reflects the country’s failure in global leadership. Alas, Trump’s trade war is destined to fail.
India plans sops to lure foreign companies
India plans to offer 324 companies, including Tesla and GlaxoSmithKline, incentives to set up factories here in a bid to capitalise from the trade war between China and the US. The government proposes to provide the manufacturers land to set up a factory along with power, water and road access, according to a draft of the document prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and Invest India.

Jack Ma says US-China trade tension could last 20 years
Jack Ma, the co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said the US-China relationship could face 20 years of “turbulence" if the two superpowers aren’t careful in how they handle trade. “We have to be very, very careful," Ma said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We have to solve problems; we should not create more problems."

China to raise penalties on IP theft in trade war compromise
China has said it will raise penalties on violations of intellectual property (IP) rights in an attempt to address one of the sticking points in trade talks with the United States. The world’s second largest economy will also look into lowering the thresholds for criminal punishments for those who steal IP, according to guidelines issued by the government on Sunday. It did not elaborate on what such moves might entail.


Why "New India" is so relevant for today's electricity sector
Ctizen-centric movements had an important role in walk to Independence and consolidation of Indian Democracy. Taking the cue from past, the government has launched ‘New India’ campaign which involves creating an India of our dreams. The path to new India calls for a transformation, powered by strength of each and every citizen of the country.

Two of America’s biggest coal plants closed this month

First the dirtiest ones began shutting down. Then it was the old ones. Now it’s some of the biggest. America’s coal plants are turning off the boilers, facing brutal economics and customers fleeing for natural gas and renewable energy.
A U.S.-China trade deal would help lift 'dark cloud' over oil, says OPEC
OPEC’s secretary general said on 13 November that a trade deal between the United States and China would boost the global economy and would help lift a “dark cloud” over the oil market. Mohammad Barkindo also said it was premature to discuss the outcome of talks in Vienna in December when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, an alliance known as OPEC+, are expected to discuss production policy.

Iran Claims to Discover 53 Billion Barrels in New Oil Reserves
Iran discovered an oil field containing the equivalent of 53 billion barrels, potentially boosting its reserves as the OPEC member struggles to overcome the effects of sanctions on its enery industry. It wasn’t immediately clear how much of the oil discovered in southern Khuzestan province is new, or how much of it can be developed commercially.


US–China Strategic Competition: The Quest for Global Technological Leadership 
The US and China are engaged in an economic battle that has so far shown little prospect of a positive resolution. But the current dispute between the world’s two largest economies goes far beyond trade tariffs and tit-for-tat reprisals: the underlying driver of this clash is a race for global technological supremacy. This timely paper by Chatham House examines the risks associated with greater strategic competition – and the instability this brings for countries that wish to preserve relations with both the US and China – as well as the broader implications and potential solutions for mitigating the impacts of the US–China economic confrontation.
Clear roadblocks to innovation
Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. The constant free flow of ideas and data across the globe fuels the development of the new chip that powers our smartphones and the apps we use to learn, play and connect with loved ones. But to ensure that these advancements and technological breakthroughs not only continue but thrive, nations must embrace an environment of cross-border cooperation and competitiveness.

Kenya: The US fights China for Mombasa-Nairobi road deal
The United States ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter, blasted a report in the recent edition of the Kenya Star newspaper that claimed the “U.S. government had ditched” the planned Mombasa to Nairobi expressway project and that the Kenyan government was now looking to Chinese contractors to do the job.
Trump’s weak Indo-Pacific plan will embolden China
With the global geopolitical centre of gravity shifting toward Asia, a pluralistic, rules-based Indo-Pacific order is more important than ever, including for America’s own global standing. So it was good news when, two years ago, US President Donald Trump began touting a vision of a “free and open" Indo-Pacific, characterized by unimpeded trade flows, freedom of navigation, and respect for the rule of law, national sovereignty and existing frontiers.


By abandoning Asia's multilateral organizations, US empowers China
In a 2011 speech to the Australian parliament, President Barack Obama announced a new focus on Asia-Pacific -- what has widely become known as the pivot to Asia. At the heart of Obama's strategy for deepened U.S. involvement was a commitment to regional multilateralism.

‘How do you reconcile Howdy Modi and Mamallapuram? Look beyond dogma’ -S Jaishankar
The purposeful pursuit of national interest in shifting global dynamics may not be easy; but it must be done. And the real obstacle to the rise of India is not anymore the barriers of the world, but the dogmas of Delhi.  

Trump isn’t scaring away Indian students, or is he?

US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration stance and political rhetoric may scare away immigrants but it doesn’t seem to be undermining the country’s appeal as a destination of choice for international students, particularly from India.
Centre explores new law to shield global investors
The Centre is exploring a law to protect investments affected by state governments’ decisions to scrap contracts as it moves to reassure foreign investors who are riled up by Andhra Pradesh’s plan to annul some clean energy agreements.