US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has highlighted India’s significance as a key ally in Washington’s strategy of “friendshoring.” This strategy focuses on building stronger relationships with friendly nations to secure stable supply chains for raw materials and other trade. Yellen expressed her views during her visit to Gandhinagar, India, for a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors. She emphasized the importance of deepening the existing “friendshoring” relationship between the United States and India.
The United States has been actively seeking to enhance economic ties with “trusted partners” like India and Vietnam as tensions with China continue to rise. Yellen’s recent visit to China and her three trips to India within the past nine months highlight the significance the United States places on fostering strong relationships with these countries. Yellen is also scheduled to visit Hanoi later this week, further exemplifying the importance the United States attaches to engaging with its regional partners.
The strategy of “friendshoring” is aimed at countering China’s growing dominance in the semiconductor industry. The United States and its allies have taken measures to restrict the export of advanced equipment and technology to China. In response, China has announced new controls on its exports of key raw materials used in chipmaking and other electronics. This includes gallium, a metal that the United States primarily imports from China as it hasn’t produced it domestically for decades.
Yellen emphasized the significance of “de-risking and friendshoring” for the United States during her visit to India. She mentioned that the United States is India’s largest export market and that the two countries reached record-high trade volumes last year. Yellen’s remarks indicate the mutual benefits that both countries can derive from their economic partnership.
However, the concept of “friendshoring” based on shared values has faced criticism. Some have questioned whether there is truly a match in values between the United States and India. Last month, US President Joe Biden faced criticism for hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi without publicly condemning Modi’s handling of human rights and democratic values. Six Democrat lawmakers even boycotted Modi’s speech to Congress, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing human rights over political expediency.
In conclusion, Janet Yellen’s remarks highlight the strategic importance of India as a key ally in the United States’ “friendshoring” strategy. The United States seeks to deepen its economic ties with India and other trusted partners, especially in the face of rising tensions with China. However, it is important to recognize the ongoing debate surrounding shared values and the need to address human rights concerns in these relationships.