Efforts to reach a bilateral trade agreement between India and the United States have grown increasingly strained, in spite of growing commerce between these two large economies. A flurry of disagreements over market access, intellectual property protection, and India’s new data governance frameworks, among other issues, hinder efforts to reach an agreement. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that both countries have forged indispensable ties, upon which a mutually beneficial economic and strategic relationship is attainable. Thus, finding common ground between the two countries has never been more vital for the health of the broader strategic relationship.

The Atlantic Council South Asia Center’s U.S.-India Trade Initiative convenes trade policy experts and industry leaders from both countries to identify solutions and opportunities for cooperation. We take a long-term view to identify solutions to aid the next U.S. administration in building a deeper trade relationship with its Indian partners.

The research and dialogue from this initiative will serve three crucial functions:

  • To identify mutually beneficial areas of agreement that can be used to build trust and cooperation.
  • To identify the key institutional changes necessary to facilitate communication and problem solving between United States and Indian trade representatives.
  • To foster interpersonal relationships between stakeholders in industry, government, and civil society to allow for more effective communication on trade issues.

With fresh analysis and forward-thinking policy ideas, the Atlantic Council’s US-India Trade Initiative aspires to facilitate lasting, meaningful economic engagement between the United States and India. With new leadership in Washington, D.C., and the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic still being calculated, this effort could not be more urgent.


Initiative core experts

Heading this initiative are four Non-resident Senior Fellows of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, each with unique experience in areas of trade policy or business.

Public-facing recommendations

While the roundtable dialogues through this initiative will be private and conducted under the Chatham House Rule, the insights gained from these conversations will be featured in policy briefs and in the final initiative research report. The final report will present tangible and mutually beneficial solutions that can serve as a foundation for policymakers in both the United States and India.

The South Asia Center serves as the Atlantic Council’s focal point for work on greater South Asia as well as its relations between these countries, the neighboring regions, Europe, and the United States.

Flagship reports & issue briefs

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