MoU on semiconductors will help India play bigger role in electronics supply chain: U.S.

March 10 (Thehindu): Air India’s decision to purchase 220 Boeing aircraft will create a “tremendous number of jobs” in the United States, said Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo on Thursday. 

In remarks to the media here, a day before restarting the India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue, the visiting official said the two countries will sign an MoU on semiconductors that will support India’s aspiration to play a leading role in the “electronics supply chain”.

Ms. Raimondo is accompanied by 10 American CEOs who will be joined by Indian business leaders on Friday to help draft industry-specific recommendations to help both sides.

“Just a few weeks ago, Boeing and Air India announced an order for 220 aircraft which is a historic deal that reflects the strength of our economic relationship and will support a tremendous number of jobs in the United States,” said Ms. Raimondo, who met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday. She said that the two sides agreed to launch the India-U.S. Strategic Trade Dialogue.

Mr. Jaishankar said his conversation with Ms. Raimondo included a discussion on “resilient and reliable supply chains and trust and transparency in the digital domain”. 

Ms. Raimondo will join Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday for the India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue, which will be accompanied by the U.S.-India CEOS Forum. “I am thrilled to say that 10 U.S. CEOs of leading U.S. companies travelled with me for the Forum and are here in person and their role working together with their Indian CEO counterparts is to develop for us recommendations for how the two governments can expand commercial ties and create more economic opportunities in both of our countries,” said the U.S. Commerce Secretary. 

Out of several items on the agenda, Ms. Raimondo highlighted the importance of semiconductors in bilateral trade talks confirming that the issue figured in talks “all day today”. “Both United States and India are implementing semiconductor incentive programmes and we discussed how we could coordinate those investments which is in both of our interests and ensure the best possible outcomes for both of our countries. We would like to see India achieve its aspirations to play a larger role in the electronics supply chain and the Memorandum of Understanding that I am signing on this trip around semiconductors is designed to help achieve that goal.” 

Ms. Raimondo appreciated India joining the “supply chain pillar, infrastructure pillar and the tax and anti-corruption pillar” of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework saying the U.S. is focused on getting India on board the “trade pillar”. These steps are aimed at stabilising global supply chains that were disturbed during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently by the Ukraine crisis. 

Ms. Raimondo did not confirm if the bilateral discussion on semiconductors is aimed at turning India into a “balancer” of China in the semiconductor space arguing that the India-U.S. discussion on the matter is aimed at ensuring a “more resilient and more diversified semiconductor supply chain”. 

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