U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen has visited India to meet finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations. This is her third visit to India in nine months.
Speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, the capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat, on Sunday, July 16, 2023, Yellen disclosed that she was trying to foster warming relations between the U.S. and India.
She also intends to go to Hanoi, Vietnam, to address supply chain reliability, clean energy transition and other matters of economic resilience.
Yellen stated that her goals for her visit to India were to press for debt restructuring in developing countries in economic distress, push to modernize global development banks to make them more climate-focused and deepen the ever-growing U.S.-India relationship.
Yellen’s frequent stops in India indicates the importance of relationship at a time of tension with China.
Meanwhile, India has a longstanding relationship with Russia and has not taken part in the efforts to punish the country. India also maintains energy trade with Moscow despite a Group of Seven agreed-upon price cap on Russian oil.
Yellen averred that ending the war in Ukraine “is first and foremost a moral imperative. But it’s also the single best thing we can do for the global economy.”
She added that the U.S. would continue to cut off Russia’s access to the military equipment and technologies that it needs to wage war against Ukraine.
“One of our core goals this year is to combat Russia’s efforts to evade our sanctions. Our coalition is building on the actions we’ve taken in recent months to crack down on these efforts.”Janet Yellen
The Treasury Secretary disclosed that the U.S. sees India as an indispensable partner in its friend-shoring strategy for increasing the resilience of supply chains.
She iterated that private U.S. firms see India as an excellent place for producing goods and exporting to the United States.
She also noted that slowing growth in China has impacted growth in many other countries.
“It is something I discussed with my Chinese counterparts. I think the Chinese are anxious to communicate that their business environment is open. There is a desire certainly to see foreign investment.”Janet Yellen
The U.S. increasingly relies on India and has courted its leaders.
President Joe Biden hosted a White House state visit honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, designed to highlight and foster ties.
A Reflection Of A Naturally Developing Alliance
Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, opined that Yellen’s trip to India “is a reflection of a naturally developing alliance.”
“India has a great deal of tension with China. They have constant border disputes and India wants to develop and has developed into sort of an Indian Ocean naval power, which is also a region that China wants to develop.”Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth
Yellen’s trip comes shortly after she spent a week in China, meeting the nation’s finance ministry and discussing mutual trade restrictions and national security concerns.
Raymond Vickery Jr., a policy expert on U.S.-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, stated that Yellen’s coming to India shortly after visiting China is meaningful in that Indian officials “are going to want to know in great detail what happened in the meetings with her Chinese counterparts and see where it fits with their perspective on economic relations with China.”
“They’re going to want to know whether or not the United States is serious about moving some of its sourcing activity from China to India,” he added.