Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a three-day state visit to the USA from 21st June to 24th June 2023. It is Modi’s first state visit to the US. On the visit to the USA, PM Modi and President Joe Biden held a bilateral meeting. India and the US inked several agreements on defense cooperation, critical and emerging technologies, health, environment, visas, and space.
Why is this considered as PM Modi’s first state visit to the US?
PM Modi has visited the US multiple times since becoming the head of the state for the first time in 2014, but his US visit from 21st June to 24th June 2023 is the first state visit.
By definition, a state visit is a formal visit by a head of the state to a foreign country at the invitation of the head of the state of the foreign country. It is considered the highest expression of a friendly bilateral relationship.
In the US, the state visit usually includes a ceremonial welcome, a 21-Gun-Salute at the White House, State Dinner at the White House, a Stay at the President’s Guest House, and so on. State visits serve as an acknowledgment of the US President’s closeness with the visiting leader. As per the American Diplomatic Policy, the US President can only host one state visit of any leader from across the globe during the presidential tenure of four years.
The relationship between India and the US is considered one of the defining relationships of the 21st century, as both countries share similar values and vision towards ensuring a stable world. Remarkably, the rising threats from China have brought India and US closer in the field of defense and security.
India and the US have a strong defense and strategic partnership, specifically through groupings such as the QUAD. The strategic defense partnership between India and the US began in the field of counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing after the 911 attack in 2001. In other words, the 911 attacks brought India and the US closer.
India-US relationship deepened after signing the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy in 2007, through which the US recognized India’s nuclear energy. The US also agreed to help India to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is noteworthy that during the 1980s to the 1990s, the India-US relationship was hostile due to the Pokhran tests conducted by India. The US imposed numerous economic and technological sanctions on India after the Pokhran nuclear tests.
Presently, the US is India’s one of the largest trading partners. Notably, India maintains a trade surplus with the US. Moreover, India and the US have developed cooperation in crucial areas such as critical and emerging technologies, healthcare, climate change, and renewable energy.
The US has nearly four million Indian-origin people living there, so India and the US maintain good cultural ties.
Agreements signed between India-US during PM Modi’s visit to the US
India and US signed various agreements regarding the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET). The framework of iCET was first jointly announced by Modi and Biden on the sidelines of the QUAD meeting in Tokyo in May 2022. iCET was launched in January 2023 to strengthen the strategic partnership and drive technology and defense cooperation. Similarly, the collaboration and development of common AI standards, joint development and production of defense technology, innovative bridge to connect defense startups, development of a semiconductor ecosystem, cooperation on human space flights, cooperation on development of 5G and 6G, and adopting OpenRAN network technology in India are a few focus areas of iCET.
India and the US signed a Jet Engine Deal, which is a landmark deal between General Electric (GE) Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce fighter engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Moreover, the deal has provisions for transferring technology between India and the US.
India agreed to sign Artemis Accords. Artemis Accords is a US-led alliance seeking to facilitate international collaboration in planetary exploration and research. Moreover, it has a set of 13 principles that seek to promote peaceful and cooperative exploration of space.
Other Highlights from Modi’s US Trip
PM Modi met various business and thought leaders like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Nobel Prize winner Paul Romer.
On the 9th International Yoga Day, Modi led a yoga session at the UN headquarters in New York.
On 22nd June 2023, Modi received a ceremonial welcome in the White House. Following the ceremonial welcome, Modi presented various gifts to US President Biden and first lady Jill Biden. Moreover, a bilateral meeting was held by Modi and Biden, following which both leaders gave a joint press conference.
The US president and first lady hosted a state dinner for Modi on 22nd June 2023. On 23rd June 2023, Modi addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress. Moreover, Modi left the US after delivering a speech to the Indian Diaspora in America on 24th June 2023.