Partners In Prosperity: How the U.S. and India Can Thrive Together

Suzanne Clark of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discusses the U.S.-India relationship, including three areas where both countries can grow and thrive together.

Air Date: October 7, 2021

Featured Guests: Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nisha Biswal, Senior Vice President, International Strategy and Global Initiatives and South Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

During the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) India Ideas Summit and 46th annual meeting, high-level business and government leaders from both the U.S. and India discussed innovative solutions to pressing issues, including economic growth and recovery.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, through our federation of state and local chambers, works every day across every sector to strengthen and support the business community and to grow economic opportunity across the United States,” said Nisha Biswal, president of the USIBC. “That economic growth is increasingly tied to overseas markets and foreign investment.”

On the second day of the Summit, several speakers addressed the U.S.-India relationship and how the two countries can work together and invest in each other’s initiatives for mutual prosperity.

Together With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Community Is Solving Today’s Biggest Challenges

Biswal noted that we are currently facing a world of unprecedented challenges, including COVID-19, climate change, and inequality.

“It is the business community that steps forward with the tools and technology to help solve these challenges,” Biswal said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been an important source of support and resources for the private sector to partner with the government and utilize those tools and technology to their fullest potential.

“The U.S. Chamber … has become one of the most powerful drivers of public-private collaboration to solve global challenges, whether it was in the launching of the Equality of Opportunity initiative ... to ensure that we create more opportunity for Black-owned businesses and support under-invested communities, or in addressing the global pandemic and standing up the Global Task Force on pandemic response during the COVID crisis in India this spring,” added Biswal.

The U.S. and India Are Longtime Partners in Prosperity

Suzanne Clark, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, remarked on the strong, long-standing relationship between the U.S. and India, calling the two countries “partners in prosperity.”

Clark, whose involvement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce began in 1997, reflected that very early in her tenure, she got to experience firsthand just how strong the ties that bind the U.S. and India really are — and saw it again with the emergence of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has tested the global economy and our citizens and continues to test them to come out of this strong,” Clark said. “Our nations must come out of this together. From the very beginning, we have said the pandemic will not be over anywhere until this is over everywhere.”

Clark reinforced the partnership between the U.S. and India, noting that the U.S. has pledged to continue sharing resources and coordinating efforts, and, along with Australia and Japan, is committed to ramping up vaccine production worldwide. Ultimately, with the collaboration between these nations, 1.5 billion doses should be produced each month to reach 12 billion doses by the end of the year, she said.

The Chamber Supports U.S.-India Relations Through Policy Debates and Global Engagement

Clark hammered home the true importance of the U.S.-India relationship to the Chamber of Commerce; citing three ways in which the U.S. Chamber continually acts in support of the relationship to enable it to flourish.

“We are engaging robustly in domestic policy debates to protect a really fragile recovery in the U.S. and the world over the past two decades. And particularly this past year, we have been the leading voice in calling for bi-partisan infrastructure investment.”

“American businesses have invested billions in Indian infrastructure to support your rapidly expanding economy,” said Clark, “and we know that rebuilding our own infrastructure will support further Indian investment in the United States.”

“[We’re] leading the calls for the kind of global engagement needed to drive growth at home and around the world,” Clark continued. “We're urging the Biden administration to lead a robust forward-leaning trade agenda that strengthens and deepens our most valued partnerships — and where better to start than with India.”

Global Collaboration and Energy Innovation Is Required to Meet Climate Change Head-On

Clark noted that the Chamber is determined to expand its collaboration with India and other partners on long-term threats to global prosperity, including the pressing issue of climate change.

“Climate change … [is] a challenge that cannot be solved by any single nation,” she said. "[It] will only be solved with the innovation of the private sector."

“Climate change and energy innovation are, and must remain core priorities," Clark added, “Together, we can continue to develop and deploy new energy technologies, support the sharing of ideas and innovations, and conduct joint research and development through our universities and businesses.”

The U.S. and India Are Beginning ‘A Partnership for Global Good’

In September 2021, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Presiden Joe Biden met in person for the first time to have bilateral discussions about the ties and partnerships between their two countries, which Prime Minister Modi described in terms of five Ts: tradition, technology, trade, trusteeship, and talent.

Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, spoke at the Summit about the importance and renewed relevance of the five Ts and the document resulting from the leaders’ discussion, entitled “A Partnership for Global Good.”

“We are focused on a relationship that has not only steadily expanded but is now consequential enough to be imbued with a bigger purpose,” said Dr. Jaishankar. “This outlook of five Ts permeates both our bilateral summit and that of the court. We have reaffirmed the principles on which our societies are organized and agreed to cooperate, to nurture our way of life."

“What does all this mean for those in business?” he continued. “It clearly signals a very positive, enabling environment. When polities have strong convergences, their economic energies tend to find partners much more readily.”