Kerry will lead a high powered American delegation to co-chair the fourth edition of the India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, the State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
“I expect the conversation during the trip to be wide-ranging. There are number of issues that we work on bilaterally with India, whether it’s our economic relationship or issues like climate change and energy, security and counter terrorism issues,” he said.
Ahead of the Strategic Dialogue, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said that economic issues would be on top of the agenda of the Secretary of State, followed by Higher Education Dialogue, energy and climate change, defence, and bilateral and regional issues.
“India has its own concerns on comprehensive immigration reform. Obviously we need to hear from that. The purpose of the dialogue is to hear each other out in a very open and friendly manner and then figure out who is going to take charge of fixing these,” he said.
Leading a wide ranging whole-of-government, Kerry would be accompanied by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) Admiral Samuel J Locklear, NASA administrator Charles Bolten, USAID administrator Raj Shah, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Rand Beers along with Science and Technology Advisor to the US President John P Holdren and Fred P Hochberg, the chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the US.
Days ahead of the Strategic Dialogue, the Obama administration has been flooded with letters from lawmakers and businesses on the alleged discriminatory trade and economic policies of the Indian Government.
“We are hearing more and more from multiple industries groups that the erosion of intellectual property is a key factor with respect to decisions being made regarding investment in India,” Elliot said.
He added the recently launched Alliance of Fair Trade in India is a much needed coalition and brings together a range of industries who care about a trading relationship with India.
The alliance is co-chaired by the National Association of Manufacturers and US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre.
“International pharmaceutical community looks at India as the bad operator, as the ‘outlier’. I think India is the outlier. That’s why you’re getting such reactions from the business community,” he said.