U.S.-India relations | Senate leader Chuck Schumer calls for increased cooperation on economic and technological front

U.S.-India Relations

Schumer also noted the record number of Indian Americans running for office in New York City, his home State

U.S. Senate Majority (Democrat) Leader, Chuck Schumer called for deeper cooperation between the U.S. and India on the economic and defence fronts.

Mr Schumer, speaking at a virtual forum organised by the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), an advocacy organisation, also noted the record number of Indian Americans running for office in New York City, his home State.

To strengthen economic ties, the U.S. Congress “must find opportunities to invest” in industries critical to both countries (semiconductors, biotech etc.) but also emerging fields like 5G, cybersecurity and AI, Mr Schumer said. Without naming China or any other country, he said “rivals around the world” who did not always value democracy, were investing in such technology.

“We need to beat them to the punch,” he said, adding that the U.S. and India also had to work on their common defence.

“At a time when the forces of authoritarianism are making inroads across the world, it’s vital that India and the US… two large, prosperous, growing democracies, keep working together to stand up and proudly defend the right of all people to freedom and to equality.”

Mr Schumer said he was going to work with Congress to promote the countries’ mutual defence including by working with ASEAN and Quad members.

He also said he was going to support immigration from India and policies that support a “rational and steady stream of legal immigration,” as well as student visas.

During remarks on the diaspora in New York, Mr Schumer talked about their political engagement, their contribution and the challenges they face. Discrimination against Indian Americans and Asian Americans still exists, he said. Nonetheless, a record number of Indian Americans were running for local office in New York, he said, adding that it was a hopeful sign of a more inclusive future in New York City.

“But today, New York still has not elected an Indian American to federal office, so this year’s record number of candidates is a reminder of how much work we have to do,” he said.

Mr Schumer also said he would like to organise a Congressional delegation to India as soon as possible.

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