The China threat presents an opportunity for the US and India to forge strong agreements, including a genuine Free Trade Agreement (FTA), fostering a partnership where both countries prioritize each other, Congressman Darrell Issa stated. Speaking during a discussion with Aparna Pande, a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Issa emphasized the potential for India to replace China in manufacturing various items at comparable costs, thus enabling a transition from dirty to clean fuel. He stressed the importance of robust agreements to solidify the partnership between the two nations, highlighting the significant contributions of Indian and Chinese students and immigrants to the US economy.
Issa, who has been advocating for immigration reform for two decades, acknowledged the challenges faced by Indian visa holders seeking permanent residency in the US due to backlog issues. He noted the desire of Indian investors to expand their presence in the US and underscored the need for an FTA to sustain the partnership beyond common threats. Issa compared the evolving trade and technology-sharing agreements among allied nations like Britain, Australia, and Canada with the potential for similar collaboration between India and the US.
Despite acknowledging disparities in wealth and career preferences between the two countries, Issa emphasized the alignment of values and the complementary nature of their societies. He advocated for a bilateral partnership to evolve into a multilateral one through inclusive relationships. Regarding Pakistan’s upcoming elections, Issa expressed skepticism about the fairness of the electoral process, citing systemic issues like corruption and military influence. He underscored the importance of grassroots democracy in fostering accountability and improvement, drawing parallels with India’s electoral dynamics.