Photo Courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Young
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this week completed a trip to India, a country taking its place at the top table of the global economy for the first time through its membership in the Group of 20 and the Financial Stability Board. Geithner isn’t the first Treasury secretary to pursue broadened coordination with India. But his trip, in the wake of a global financial crisis from which India has emerged stronger and earlier than most other major economies, assumed a special significance. Geithner and Indian officials launched an expanded “Economic and Financial Partnership,” aimed at enhancing coordination of macroeconomic policies and increasing financing for infrastructure investment in India.
But Geithner’s passage to India–heavier on imagery and symbolism than on substance–took place on the heels of a more immediately tangible development: On March 29, the United States and India took a decisive step forward in implementing their historic civil nuclear initiative, completed in 2008. After months of negotiation, they agreed on procedures for India to reprocess U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
This kind of attention to India is important, not least because skeptics in both countries have argued that the U.S.-India relationship is drifting. Count me among the skeptics.
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