File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
Besides shared values, there are also shared interests. China is at the centre of it.
The United States and India are miles apart both figuratively and literally. Both countries are on different continents - yet there are some striking similarities.
Firstly, they are both democracies. They were both British colonies before Independence. They are both federations between the state and the Centre and they are both multi-ethnic yet strongly nationalistic.
Here's a Strenght, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threat(SWOT) analysis on how the two countries compare.
Starting with the strengths, besides shared values, there are also shared interests. China is at the centre of it. For years, the US pursued India as a central partner to counter China's growing influence. India's potential to challenge China's rise is vast given its size and population. The United States has invested heavily in India both militarily and economically.
The trade and defence deals promised today to reaffirm it and both sides benefit equally. The population of India forms a huge consumer base for the US. It also provides the United States with manpower. India's excellence in information technology is unmatched. The tech giants like Google and Facebook welcome Indian engineers with open arms and Indian doctors help fulfil America's healthcare needs. The two countries are heavily interdependent.
There are some stumbling blocks. There are ongoing trade issues which form the core of Trump's visit to India. There are disagreements on tariffs and foreign investment limitations. The Trump administration imposed new tariffs in 2018 on dozens of countries which includes India.
New Delhi has a list of retaliatory tariffs ready but has held off on applying them. From America's end - there's the issue of H1B visas ever since Trump took office on the back of anti-immigration rhetoric.
The US has consistently declined more visas to employees of Indian software exporters. The Indian I-T industry is bracing for delays in grant of work visas even this year. There's lack of clarity on the new registration process that kicks off in April.
Both countries have enormous potential to shape the geo-political scenario together and they are already working towards it. There's greater co-operation on global forums be it at the UNSC, the G-20 or the financial action task force(FATF).
The two countries have emboldened shared commitments in dealing with security issues of mutual interest.
Most of them arise from the Indian Ocean region. The power balance here is tilted heavily in China's favour and different alliances are taking place - there's also talk of a new Islamic front.
There's co-operation on neutralizing such security threats between the two countries but the United States is largely looking within which may be receding its global position. India too cannot only pursue issues of national interest.
It's a multi-polar world and the narrative in every country has gone global. The America First and India First foreign policy need to be allied to counter it.