Trump Should Champion India for Asia-Pacific Economic Pact
Op-Ed in The Hill
This is an excerpt from an article by ASPI's Assistant Director Anubhav Gupta that was originally published by The Hill.
Leaders from 21 major Asia-Pacific economies will gather in Vietnam this week for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
All major regional economies, that is, except for one. Despite being Asia’s third-largest economy and one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, India is once again outside the annual APEC jamboree looking in.
During his current trip to Asia, President Donald Trump is set to outline a “free and open Indo-Pacific” policy, and in his first major address as secretary of State last month, Rex Tillerson identified India as a vital partner that, alongside the United States, could be a “bookend for stability” in the region. Why, then, will this critical piece of the strategic puzzle be missing when Trump addresses APEC later this week?
If the Trump administration is serious about its new strategy, the United States needs to change tack and finally endorse India’s accession to APEC. Two of the United States’ closest allies in the region — Japan and Australia — have already done so. India’s continued exclusion is not only bad for India and the region, it is counterproductive for a United States that wants India to play a greater role in the Asia-Pacific.