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India-U.S. Economic and Trade Relations
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Authors: Michael F. Martin and K. Alan Kronstadt 
Book Description:
After decades of strained political relations, the U.S. and Indian governments are currently pursuing a “strategic partnership” based on numerous overlapping interests, shared values, and improved economic and trade relations. India is in the midst of a rapid economic expansion, and many U.S. companies view India as a lucrative market and a candidate for foreign investment. For its part, the current Indian government sees itself continuing the economic reforms started in 1991, aimed at transforming a quasi-socialist economy into a more open, market-oriented economy. However, the U.S. government is concerned that India’s economic reforms are progressing too slowly and unevenly. Bilateral merchandise trade has grown from $6 billion in 1990 to $33 billion in 2006. Although India was only the 21th largest export market for the United States in 2006, the United States has become India’s leading trading partner, mostly due to the growth in India’s exports to the United States. However, recent increases in trade with China have made it a close second to the United States. In 2006, the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with India totaled $13 billion. In 2006, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 9.2%, a growth rate second only to China among Asian nations. India’s economic growth has also brought about the emergence of a sizeable “middle class” and the largest number of billionaires in Asia, but the country’s mostly rural population remains comparatively poor and largely isolated from the benefits of growth. In addition, there is growing concern that the economy is “overheated,” as evidenced by rising rates of inflation. Moreover, despite several years of strong growth, investment in infrastructure is lagging, creating a potential bottleneck for long-term economic expansion. Finally, attempts at additional economic reforms aimed at resolving these and other economic problems are constrained by India’s political dynamics. Despite the significant liberalization of India’s trade and foreign investment policies, there remain a number of bilateral and multilateral trade issues between the United States and India. The United States seeks greater market access to India’s agricultural market and key service sectors for its exports and for foreign direct investment. The United States is also concerned about “outsourcing,” and would also like to see improvements in India’s intellectual property rights protection. India, for its part, calls for the lowering of perceived U.S. barriers to agricultural and service imports, as well as an expansion of the H-1B visa program. Many of the more prominent Indo-U.S. trade issues may have indirect implications for Congress. The growth of India’s services exports to the United States has contributed to congressional consideration of possible legislation to provide greater assistance to displaced U.S. workers. Also, India’s growing demand for crude oil has raised the possibility of boosting bilateral energy cooperation. Finally, the passage of the Hyde Act in 2006 (P.L. 109-401) has led to the negotiations of a bilateral peaceful nuclear cooperation (“123”) agreement, which cannot go into effect without congressional approval.

Table of Contents:


India’s Political and Economic Climate


Brief Political Economic History of India

Current Political Climate for Economic Reform

Key Political Figures and Institutions

Major Political Parties and Coalitions

The UPA and the Indian National Congress

The NDA and the Bharatiya Janata Party

The Left Front and the CPI-M

Regional Factors and Variations

The West

The North

The South

The East

Maoist Insurgency

India’s Current Economic Condition

Sectoral Shift to Services

Declining Poverty, Emerging Middle Class

Rapid Growth in Trade

Balance of Trade

Top Merchandise Exports

Top Merchandise Imports

Trade in Services

Risk of Overheating?

India’s Current Economic and Trade Policies

Economic Policies of the UPA Government

UPA Budgets


Labor Reforms

Infrastructural Development

Special Economic Zones

India’s Trade Policies

Tariff Rates and Enforcement

Import Restrictions

U.S. Trade Barrier Assessment

India-U.S. Economic and Trade Relations

Trends in Merchandise Trade

India’s Merchandise Trade with the United States

U.S. Merchandise Trade with India

Top Traded Commodities

Emerging Competition from China

Trade in Services

Foreign Direct Investment

Bilateral and Multilateral Trade Relations

Bilateral Agreements and Relations

World Trade Organization and Other Multilateral Relations

Key Economic and Trade Issues

Agricultural Goods

Clothing and Textiles

Dual-Use Technology and Military Trade

Foreign Direct Investment

Intellectual Property Rights



Trade in Information Technology and Other Services

H-1B Visas

Implications for the 110th Congress

Energy Cooperation


The Farm Bill

Foreign Direct Investment

Outsourcing and Displaced Workers

List of Figures

Figure 1. India’s Nominal Gross Domestic Product, 2002-2007

Figure 2. Growth in India’s Merchandise and Service Trade, 1990-2005

Figure 3. India’s Trade and Current Account Balance

Figure 4. Growth in India’s Services Exports, 1990-2005

Figure 5. Growth in India’s Services Imports, 1990-2005

Figure 6. India’s Merchandise Trade with the United States, 1958-2006

Figure 7. U.S. Share of India’s Merchandise Trade, 1958-2006

Figure 8. U.S. Merchandise Trade with India, 1958-2006

Figure 9. India’s Share of U.S. Merchandise Trade, 1958-2006

Figure 10. India’s Trade with the United States and China, 2000-2006

Figure 11. Growth in U.S. Investments in India, 1990-2005

Figure 12. U.S. Textiles and Clothing Imports from India, 2000-2006

Figure 13. Exchange Rate: Indian Rupees per U.S. Dollar, 2005-2007

Figure 14. Map of India

List of Tables
Table 1. Sectoral Breakdown of India’s GDP

Table 2. India’s Top 10 Merchandise Exports, 2000 and 2006

Table 3. India’s Top 10 Merchandise Imports, 2000 and 2006

Table 4. Top Five Traded Commodities: U.S.-Indian Bilateral Merchandise Trade,

Table 5. Indo-U.S. Trade in Services, 2000-2005

Table 6. Trade in Agricultural Goods: India and the United States, 2006

Table 7. U.S. Trade Balance with India, 2000-2006


   Binding: Softcover
   Pub. Date: 2008, 4th Quarter
   ISBN: 978-1-60456-756-4
   Status: AP
Status Code Description
AN Announcing
FM Formatting
PP Page Proofs
FP Final Production
EP Editorial Production
PR At Prepress
AP At Press
AV Available
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