U.S. Relations With India

Fact Sheet
Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Washington, DC
December 21, 2012

For the most recently published version of this fact sheet, see //2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/.

More information about India is available on the India Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


President Obama has called India one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, one which will be vital to U.S. strategic interests in Asia-Pacific and across the globe. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all visited India, underscoring the increasing importance of the bilateral relationship. Our relationship is rooted in common values, including the rule of law, respect for diversity, and democratic government. We have a shared interest in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity. The United States and India have a common interest in the free flow of global trade and commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. supports India's critical role as a leader in maintaining regional stability. Security ties are robust and growing with bilateral defense and counterterrorism cooperation reaching unprecedented levels. The United States and India also look continue to develop their defense partnership through military sales and joint research, co-production and co-development efforts.

The U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, launched in 2009, provides opportunities to strengthen collaboration in areas including energy, climate change, trade, education, and counterterrorism. The third annual meeting was held in June 2012. In 2012 alone, seven Cabinet-level officials made visits to India to deepen bilateral ties.

The strength of people to people linkages between the United States and India has come to define the indispensable relationship between our two countries. The increased cooperation of state and local officials to create ties has enhanced engagement in education. Additionally, state to state and city to city engagements have created new partnerships in business and the private sector and enhance our robust government to government engagement.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is one of India's largest trade and investment partners. U.S.- India bilateral trade in goods and services has increased four and a half times over the last decade, to more than $86 billion in 2011. Bilateral trade between our two countries is up 40 percent since we began our Strategic Dialogue three years ago. The stock of Indian FDI in the United States has increased from $227 million in 2002 to almost $4.9 billion in 2011, supporting thousands of U.S. jobs.

The United States and India are negotiating a bilateral investment treaty as a key part of the effort to deepen the economic relationship, improve investor confidence, and support economic growth in both countries. India continues to move forward, albeit haltingly, with market-oriented economic reforms that began in 1991. Recent reforms have included an increasingly liberal foreign investment regime in many sectors.

On energy cooperation, the United States and India also share a strong commitment to work collaboratively in bilateral and multilateral fora to help ensure mutual energy security, combat global climate change, and support the development of low-carbon economies that will create opportunities and fuel job growth in both countries. The two countries consult regularly on the future of global oil and gas markets, expanding sustainable energy access to support jobs and economic growth in both countries, collaborating in research and technology, and increasing U.S. exports of clean energy technology.

U.S. exports to India include diamonds and gold, machinery, oil, and fertilizers. U.S. imports from India include diamonds, pharmaceutical products, oil, agricultural products, organic chemicals, and apparel. U.S. direct investment in India is led by the information, professional, scientific, and technical services, and manufacturing sectors. India direct investment in the U.S. is primarily concentrated in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector.

India's Membership in International Organizations

India and the United States share membership in a variety of international organizations, including the United Nations, G-20, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The United States supports a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member. India is an ASEAN dialogue partner, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development partner under its Enhanced Engagement program, and an observer to the Organization of American States. India is also a member and the current chair of the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). In November 2012, the United States was admitted as a dialogue partner in the IOR-ARC with India’s support.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to India is Nancy J. Powell; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

India maintains an embassy in the United States at 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-7000).

More information about India is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State India Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook India Page
U.S. Embassy: India
USAID India Page
History of U.S. Relations With India
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information