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U.S. APPROVES 2 MISSILE DEALS WITH INDIA

Why in news?

  • The U.S. State Department has approved two potential missile deals with India, for an estimated $92 million and $63 million, the State Department has said in a statement.
  • The first deal, for which Boeing is the contractor, is for ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air launched missiles and related equipment.
  • The second deal, for $63 million, for torpedoes which are expected to enhance India’s anti-submarine warfare capability and can be used with the P-8I.

Overview of Indo-American relations

  • India-US relations have become increasingly multi-faceted, covering cooperation in areas such as trade, defence and security, education, science and technology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, environment and health.
  • Grassroot level interactions between the people of the two nations provide further vitality and strength to this bilateral relationship.
  • There have been regular contacts at political and official levels with a wide-ranging dialogue on bilateral, regional and global issues having taken place.

Outcomes of recent visit to India by U.S. President Donald Trump

  • The agreement signed for defence purchases worth $3-billion, including American helicopters (MH-60 Romeo helicopters), has led to both sides signalling more cooperation in defence, military exercises and technology sharing.
  • MoU signed for Petronet to invest in American gas company Tellurian.
  • A commercial agreement for Westinghouse to build six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh.

Divergent issues in Indo-U.S. relationship

  • In June 2019, the Trump administration decided to terminate India’s benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, which provides preferential, duty-free access for over $6 billion worth of products exported from this country to the US.
  • Removal from the GSP list amidst rising trade tensions prompted India to finally impose retaliatory tariffs on several American imports. This made the US approach the WTO against India.
  • The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has underlined India’s measures to restrict companies from sending personal data of its citizens outside the country as a “key” barrier to digital trade.
  • US has softened its position on Pakistan in the recent months, due to the role Pakistan can play in the Afghan deal (between the US and the Taliban).
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