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Treasury Secretary Yellen says U.S., India 'natural allies' in trip to New Delhi

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) said the United States seeks to strengthen economic ties with India, calling the two countries “natural allies” during a meeting of the India-U.S Economic Financial Partnership, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo courtesy of India Press Information Bureau/EPA-EFE
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) said the United States seeks to strengthen economic ties with India, calling the two countries “natural allies” during a meeting of the India-U.S Economic Financial Partnership, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo courtesy of India Press Information Bureau/EPA-EFE

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is seeking to strengthen economic ties with India, calling the two countries "natural allies" during a speech in the capital of New Delhi on Friday.

Yellen called India an indispensable partner on the global stage, noting the United States serves as India's largest export market. Bilateral trade between the world's two largest democracies reached an all-time high last year.

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"That is particularly true today. I believe that these urgent challenges are bringing India and the United States closer together than ever before," Yellen said during her speech at Microsoft's research facility on the city's outskirts.

The 76-year-old former Federal Reserve chair used the word "friendshoring" to describe the new U.S. approach to economic integration, meant to avoid being held hostage by a single supply source.

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"The United States and India share an interest in strengthening our supply chains in a world where certain governments wield trade as a geopolitical weapon," Yellen said, referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin's cutting off of gas supplies to European countries.

"For too long, countries around the world have been overly dependent on risky countries or a single source for critical inputs."

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On Thursday, Moldova became the latest casualty on that front.

Yellen said the Biden administration is prioritizing deepening economic ties with India, in a relationship that is now in its 75th year

The U.S. approach aims to "diversify away from countries that present geopolitical and security risks to our supply chain," Yellen said.

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"To do so, we are proactively deepening economic integration with trusted trading partners like India. Our strategy will also create redundancies in our supply chain to mitigate over-concentration risks. And we are also addressing our reliance on manufacturers whose approaches clash with our human rights values."

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