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Biden seeks to appoint 20 American corporate leaders to US-India CEO Forum

Washington, DC: The Biden administration has started the process of appointing 20 American corporate leaders to the US section of the US-India CEO Forum.

Established in 2005, the US-India CEO Forum brings together leaders of the respective business communities of the two countries to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The forum has US and Indian public and private sector co-chairs, while the Secretary of Commerce and his Indian counterpart serve as the respective chair. Other senior US government officials may also participate in the forum.

The International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce on Tuesday invited applications from American CEOs to be part of this exclusive group.

The forum will allow the private sector to develop and provide recommendations to the two governments that reflect private sector views, needs, concerns, and suggestions about the creation of an environment in which their respective private sectors can partner, thrive, and enhance bilateral commercial ties to expand trade and economic links between the United States and India, according to an official statement.

It will work in tandem with, and provide input to, the government-to-government US-India Commercial Dialogue, the statement read.

The US section of the forum should include members who represent a diversity of business sectors and geographic locations, it said. To the extent possible, the US section should include members from small, medium, and large firms. The Secretary will consider the same criteria when appointing the US private sector co-chair, according to the statement.

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Pompeo and Esper heading to India to discuss China threat

New York: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the 2+2 ministerial meeting of the top foreign affairs and defense leaders of India and the US in New Delhi next week will discuss the threats from China.

He told reporters that he was “sure” next Tuesday’s meeting will have a “discussion about how free nations can work together to thwart the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party”.

Pompeo said he was especially looking forward to the meeting he and Defence Secretary Mark Esper will have with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

 The 2+2 meeting that is held every year alternating between the capitals of the two countries has been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Pompeo said: “I am glad that we’re going to execute that in person.”

 This will be the third edition of the meeting that has raised the level of strategic cooperation between the two giant democracies, while cooperation in trade has stalled as the two countries have not been able to reach a trade agreement while President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” priority.

On the China front, Pompeo said that the “good news” was that the European Union was also taking up the issue and he and EU High Representative Joseph Borrell will launch the US-EU dialogue on China on Friday.

Pompeo said that during his trip he will also visit Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

“On every stop I will discuss a broad range of bilateral topics but also work to find the best ways to make sure that we cooperate to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

The two South Asian nations that are strategically placed on the key international maritime route are under stress from loans that they have received from China and are now finding it difficult to service and in danger of China getting control of capturing control of key infrastructure.

 Looking ahead to the 2+2 ministerial, Esper called New Delhi the most important partner for the US in the Indo-Pacific noting that India faces Chinese aggression every day.

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India Latest News

India-US ministerial meeting to discuss China threat: Pompeo

New York: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the 2+2 ministerial meeting of the top foreign affairs and defense leaders of India and the US in New Delhi next week will discuss the threats from China.

He told reporters that he was “sure” next Tuesday’s meeting will have a “discussion about how free nations can work together to thwart the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party”.

Pompep said he was especially looking forward to the meeting he and Defence Secretary Mike Esper will have with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

The 2+2 meeting that is held every year alternating between the capitals of the two countries has been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Pompeo said: “I am glad that we’re going to execute that in person.”

This will be the third edition of the meeting that has raised the level of strategic cooperation between the two giant democracies, while cooperation in trade has stalled as the two countries have not been able to reach a trade agreement while President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” priority.

On the China front, Pompeo said that the “good news” was that the European Union was also taking up the issue and he and EU High Representative Joseph Borrell will launch the US-EU dialogue on China on Friday.

Pompeo said that during his trip he will also visit Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

“On every stop I will discuss a broad range of bilateral topics but also work to find out what each of those countries the best ways we can make sure that we cooperate to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

The two South Asian nations that are strategically placed on the key international maritime route are under stress from loans that they have received from China and are now finding it difficult to service and in danger of China getting control of capturing control of key infrastructure.

Looking ahead to the 2+2 ministerial, Esper called New Delhi the most important partner for the US in the Indo-Pacific noting that India faces Chinese aggression every day.

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US restricts India charter flights over ‘discriminatory practices’

Washington: The US has restricted charter flights from India, accusing New Delhi of engaging in “discriminatory and restrictive practices”, a statement by the Department of Transportation (DoT) said.

In the statement, the Department said that a foreign air carrier of India “will be required, effective 30 days after the service date of this Order, to obtain prior approval from the Department in the form of a statement of authorization before operating any Third and/or Fourth Freedom charter flights to or from the US”.

“We are taking this action because the government of India has impaired the operating rights of US carriers and has engaged in discriminatory and restrictive practices with respect to US carrier services to and from India,” it added.

Air India is currently the only foreign air carrier of India that holds the Department authority to conduct operations to/from the US with its own aircraft and crew.

The Department further said that “this restrictive and discriminatory treatment of US carriers as regards charters has important implications in the area of scheduled operations as well”.

The DoT also alleged that the Indian government has “imposed restrictions that prevent US air carriers from making full use of these charter rights” according to the statement.

Washington however, has “not placed any limitations on US–India charter operations, and Air India has been and remains free to conduct the full complement of passenger charter services”.

On March 25, the Indian government had suspended all scheduled passenger services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday’s development comes after the Department restricted Chinese airlines from flying into the US.

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