Obama’s Delhi trip: More style than substance

9:24 PM | , , , ,

There is general consensus that President Obama’s trip to Delhi is more style than substance. There is early evidence that much of Bharat‘s expectations have been been dashed. The relationship is on a rocky road and can only survive on a subsistence level.
  • A weakened President Barack Obama visits India this week to counter perceptions he has relegated the Asian power behind rivals China and Pakistan, but he may struggle to seal deals to help usher in billions of dollars of business.
  • Obama’s drubbing in the mid-term elections may also tie his political hands when it comes to bold policy moves on India as growing worries emerge that outsourcing in cities such as IT hub Bangalore is worsening mass unemployment in the United States.
  • It was a sign of the times that Obama told the Press Trust of India that India should open up its markets to U.S. companies, a stance that may dominate a 10-day trip of Asia aimed at boosting U.S. exports and jobs, crucial for his presidency’s fate. Reuters.
With the towel thrown big on Bharat’s plans of a UNSC seat, and lifting of US sanctions on dual technology products. While Rao says that “no hasty decisions” will be made. The decisions on export controls have already been made. No deals for Delhi.  India on Thursday said it will not make any “hasty decisions” on the outcome of discussions with President Barack Obama on “complex” issues of outsourcing, seat for India in UN Security Council and withdrawal of US ban on export of dual-use technology.
Seeking to downplay Obama’s remarks on Wednesday in which he did not hold out any assurances on these key concerns, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said it would be wrong to prejudge the US leader’s discussions with the Indian leadership.
There has been a good “working progress” on elimination of obstacles created by dual-use controls of the US as governments of both countries were of the view that the issue need to be reviewed in order to reduce and “ultimately eliminate” it, Rao said.
She also disclosed that India has invited US companies to explain to them the provisions of its domestic civil nuclear liability law and address their concerns, if any, and also begin discussions on the next steps of implementation of civil nuclear power projects.
  • A bilateral trade boom has seen total flows treble to $36.5 billion in goods in the decade to 2009-10, but the United States slipped from number one to three in India’s trade partners. India lags China, the United States’ third-biggest trading partner.
  • Washington faces a host of hurdles, including Indian worries that signing defense pacts — which are necessary for the U.S. arms sales to go through — may land New Delhi in a wider entanglement with the U.S. military.
  • The civil nuclear deal with the United States was signed to great fanfare, but it struggled through parliament and now the accord has sparked criticism that U.S. companies in the sector will be discouraged to invest due to high liabilities.
  • Obama has already played down ending a ban on U.S. exports of dual-use technology, telling the Press Trust of India it was “very difficult and complicated” to meet Indian expectations. Reuters.

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