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Editorials/Opinions Analyses For UPSC 3 November 2021

Contents

  1. Trade and climate, the pivot for India-U.S. ties

Trade and climate, the pivot for India-U.S. ties

Context:

As 2021 closes, with COVID-19 still a present danger and China, the emerging superpower on the global stage, viewed by both as a strategic competitor, India and the U.S. have a long way to go before they can inspire confidence that this blossoming alliance will endure for the long term.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Background on India-U.S. partnership on trade and climate
  2. The interlinks partnership on trade and climate
  3. Areas of convergence
  4. Issues
  5. Solutions

Background on India-U.S. partnership on trade and climate

  • India-US relations have become increasingly multi-faceted, covering cooperation in areas such as trade, climate, defence and security, education, science and technology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, environment, and health.
  • Joint efforts will be in creating a free and open Indo-Pacific — one that advances democratic values and confronts autocracies globally and locally.

The interlinks partnership on trade and climate

  • Climate and trade are interrelated in many ways, from commercial dissemination of cutting-edge carbon mitigation and adaptation products and technologies to the carbon emissions that come with the transport of goods and humans from one country to another.
  • If India and the U.S. coordinate in incentivising & sharing climate-related technologies and align approaches for reducing emissions associated with trade, the relationship can be a net positive one.

Areas of convergence

  • Shared concerns about China provide the U.S.-India partnership a much-needed impetus to overcome the awkward efforts for deeper collaboration.
  • Both countries are collaborating under the “Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership”.
  • The partnership will proceed along two main tracks which will build on and subsume a range of existing processes:
    • the strategic clean energy partnership and the climate action.
    • finance mobilisation dialogue.

Issues

  • India’s rhetoric of climate justice is likely to be received poorly by the U.S.
  • The US continues to take a hard line in terms of trade and is trying to push and get the maximum advantage that it can get from India.
  • Protectionist tendencies affect both countries’ relations, such as imports from India are subject to increased tariffs in the form of carbon border adjustment mechanisms or “CBAMs”.
  • Climate-inspired trade tensions that might even lead to new trade wars can hardly bolster the strategic partnership.

Solutions

  • India and the U.S. could find opportunities to align their climate and trade approaches better, starting with a resolution of their disputes in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on solar panels.
  • The two countries could also chart a path that allows trade to flow for transitional energy sources, such as fuel ethanol.
  • India currently bans imports of ethanol, as it seeks to ramp up its own ethanol blend mandates and build a domestic sector.

-Source: The Hindu

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