Relationship with India is important and needs to be built, says White House
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Washington: The Biden administration is committed to working together with India in groups like the Quad to advance economic growth and expand bilateral cooperation, the White House has said.

In November 2017, India, Japan, the US, and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

“The United States and India have a strong bilateral relationship and that’s including trade as well, trade relationship,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference on Wednesday.

“We are committed to continuing working together and in groups like the Quad to advance economic growth for our two countries and expand cooperation of our shared priorities. That is a commitment that you can know that is coming from the United States,” Jean-Pierre said.

US President Joe Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format in March 2021 and vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending a subtle message to China.

Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory.

China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The top US official’s remarks came in response to a question on the US becoming India’s largest trading partner, surpassing China.

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The US has emerged as India’s biggest trading partner in 2022-23 on account of increasing economic ties between the two countries.

According to the provisional data of the commerce ministry, the bilateral trade between India and the US has increased by 7.65 per cent to USD 128.55 in 2022-23 as against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22. It was USD 80.51 billion in 2020-21.

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