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US Treasury Secretary Yellen looks to India to ‘support friends’

Supply chains, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the impact of COVID-19 were top topics for US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as she met with Indian government and business leaders in New Delhi .

Both Yellen and India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman He called for strengthening supply chains with trusted trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region to diversify away from countries that pose geopolitical and security risks.

“Membership of India in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework [IPEF]in an effort to make our supply chains more resilient through what I call support from friends, they are tightening those ties,” said Yellen.

The United States is following a so-called “hosting friends” approach to diversify away from countries that pose geopolitical and security risks to supply chains. “To do so, we are proactively deepening economic integration with trusted trading partners like India,” said Yellen.

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For example, the US is providing the largest US solar manufacturer with up to $500 million in debt financing to build a facility in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state. The facility will boost India’s solar manufacturing capacity and help diversify supply chains outside of China, Yellen said.

“Tech companies like Amazon and Google are investing in India and Vietnam. Apple recently announced that it was moving some iPhone manufacturing from China to India,” he said.

While India is part of the Biden administration’s signature Asian engagement project, IPEF, it has chosen not to join IPEF’s trade pillar negotiations.

Yellen visited Microsoft’s research facility on the outskirts of New Delhi before taking part in a joint press conference with Sitharaman.

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Sitharaman said the meeting between the two will facilitate a coordinated political stance on global economic challenges facing the world.

“By meeting today, we tighten economic relations, strengthen business-to-business ties, and facilitate a coordinated political posture to address pressing global economic challenges,” Sitharaman said.

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Sitharaman and Yellen will participate in a US-India Economic and Financial Partnership dialogue in New Delhi and discuss India’s leadership agenda for the G20 group of major economies next year.

In a statement issued later in the day, the two sides said they would continue a discussion on climate-aligned finance in the G20 sustainable finance working group.

“We agree that India and the US should work together with partners to pursue a broad mix of public and private financing to facilitate India’s energy transition in line with its nationally determined climate goals and capabilities,” the statement added.

natural allies

Yellen, speaking at the Microsoft facility, highlighted the Biden administration’s desire to deepen economic ties with India and said both the global economy and the democratic idea were at tipping points.

“The United States and India are ‘natural allies,’ in the words of a former Indian prime minister,” Yellen said, adding that the two had waged similar struggles for independence to achieve freedom and dignity.

“People around the world look at us and ask: Can democracies meet the economic needs of their citizens? Can they stand up to the bullies and cooperate on the toughest global problems? she said.

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“I am confident that we will succeed,” he said.

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Sitharaman said that India considered the US a “trusted friend”, and that the Quad of four nations and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework were key cornerstones of the bilateral commitment “in developing sustainable economies, ensuring the security global health, resilient supply chains, clean energy technologies. , green infrastructure and climate finance”.

The Quad, made up of the United States, India, Australia and Japan, is intended to deepen economic, diplomatic and military ties.

Among the actions the two sides will work on are targets for India’s leadership at the G20, which should focus on shared priorities to boost investment to combat climate change, break a logjam on debt restructuring of the poorest countries and improve access to the digital economy. .

“India’s G20 year is an opportunity to accelerate global coordination on debt restructuring,” said Yellen.

He also said ending the war in Ukraine was a “moral imperative” but that the economic challenges of the conflict and supply chain tensions were bringing India and the United States closer together.

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