2+2 Dialogue

2+2 dialogue is a step forward in the direction of unleashing the untapped potential between India and US. The initiative aims to elevate the level of engagement.

What is 2+2 dialogue?

  • Two plus Two dialogue is an institutionalised mechanism of dialogue between 2 countries with encompassing two key ministries of defense and external affairs.
  • The initiative was agreed upon during PM Modi’s visit to US in 2017.
  • It is often referred as the highest level of the bilateral meet between 2 countries.
  • The mechanism is based on the similar initiative of Japan which uses a similar mechanism to hold strategic interactions with the US, France, Russia and Australia.
  • The 2+2 dialogue also replaced the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the foreign and commerce ministers of the two countries that was initiated during the tenure President Obama.

Significance of the dialogue

  • 2+2 dialogue provides with a great opportunity for the 2 nations to strengthen their relations at a time when diplomacy between the two countries is going through one of it’s worst phases since a decade.
  • The initiative also helps in changing the current narrative surrounding the bilateral relationships through economic and trade issues.
  • The dialogue is an opportunity to grow US-India strategic partnership, deepen security relationship, broaden friendship and ensure more safety.
  • The dialog provides with an opportunity to strengthen strategic, security and defense cooperation between the two countries.

Why the India-US relationship is at a worst phase?

  • There have been several confrontations over trade issues between India and the US.
  • Earlier this year President Trump lashed out at India for imposing high imports on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Calling it unfair he had threatened a similar increase in tariff on Indian motorcycles exported to the US.
  • The bilateral tensions further deepened as both the nations have been stuck on sanctions, raising import duties and tariffs
  • India increased the duties on 29 US products as retaliation to US’s decision to impose higher tariffs on Indian steel and aluminum exports.

Outcome of the 2018 meet

The significant breakthrough was in terms of signing of COMCASA (Compatibility and Security Agreement) deal. The deal will provide Indian military with an access to function on high-end secured and encrypted communication equipment which are installed on American platforms obtained by Indian Armed Forces.  The two nations agreed to hold first-ever joint military exercises off the east coast in 2019. It was also agreed to set up a direct hotline between the defense and military chiefs. Both the countries agreed upon their roles in each other’s economy to bolster their future ties.

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