USISPF and Squire Patton Boggs co-hosted a webinar briefing members on the latest policy responses to COVID-19 from a U.S., European, and Indian perspective. Speakers included Frank Samolis, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs; Ambassador Frank Wisner, International Affairs Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs; former U.S. Representative Joe Crowley; Matthew Kirk, International Affairs Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs; David Stewart, Principal at Squire Patton Boggs; and Dharmakirti Joshi, Chief Economist at CRISIL.
David Stewart, Matthew Kirk, and Dharmakirti Joshi spoke on the respective government efforts of the U.S., Europe, and India to reopen their economies while continuing to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. David Stewart opened the discussion by highlighting the U.S. government’s economic stimulus efforts in response to COVID-19, including the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Main Street Lending program. In Europe, different countries have different in their impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but across countries, efforts to reopen the economy largely involve adhering to social distancing measures, using track-and-trace systems to contain the further spread of the coronavirus, and financial packages. Dharmakirti Joshi stated that, while India has a limited fiscal space in which to organize its response, the country has several options to finance its response. He also noted that India has not “front-loaded” its response, and the next phase of its policy response should be aimed at support for small and medium businesses.
In a Q&A session with USISPF President and CEO Mukesh Aghi, Joe Crowley, Frank Wisner, and Frank Samolis shared their perspectives on the relationship between the U.S. and India. Rep. Crowley shared his insight into how the relationship between the U.S. and India has grown over the past few decades, and Frank Samolis spoke on the possibility of future trade negotiations between the U.S. and India. Amb. Wisner stated that cooperation between the U.S., Europe, and India is vital to containing COVID-19 and bringing back their economies, especially given the shifts occurring in the global economy as a result of COVID-19. He also highlighted the importance of India presenting a competitive and attractive market for foreign investment, to take advantage of global interest in diversifying supply chains.