Celebrating the 246th American Independence Day

Remarks by Chargè D’Affaires Patricia Lacina

Honorable Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, distinguished guests, and honored friends, on behalf of the U.S. Embassy community in New Delhi and the American people, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Roosevelt House to celebrate 246 years of U.S. independence and 75 years of official diplomatic relations between the United States and India.

I want to thank Foreign Secretary Kwatra for joining us tonight to mark this special occasion. Foreign Secretary, I am honored to stand here beside you in recognition of the strength of U.S.-India ties as we mark this milestone in our bilateral relationship.

Please join me in recognizing the U.S. Embassy Marine Security Guard detachment and service-members from Mission India. Thank you for your selfless service. I also want to acknowledge our donors for the evening who made tonight’s celebration possible by exemplifying two very American and Indian qualities: ingenuity and generosity. Thank you for your support.

I am thrilled to see all of you in person tonight. Across the United Stateson the Fourth of July, Americans will come together to celebrate our independence with food, family, and fireworks, and renew our commitment to the values that shaped the founding of our country – equality, self-governance, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The United States and India – the world’s oldest and largest democracies — share these values, which form the bedrock of our relationship. When President Biden and Prime Minister Modi met in Tokyo last month, they renewed our countries’ commitment to a bilateral relationship rooted in a shared tradition of democracy and equal opportunity for all citizens. United in this shared vision, we are tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges together. From fighting the climate crisis, to leading the global pandemic response, to advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific, the United States and India are collaborating across nearly every field of endeavor to improve the lives of our peoples and contribute to the global good. Our partnership at 75 demonstrates how vital U.S.-India cooperation has been in realizing a more prosperous, free, connected, and secure world, and how much potential there is for our partnership to grow further.

But our relationship far transcends our government-to-government engagement. The deep bonds between our peoples are the sinew that binds us together. From Silicon Valley to Bengaluru, Hyderabad to Boston, and Mumbai to New York, our companies, students, entrepreneurs and civil society grow ever more closely linked to the great benefit of bout our countries. There is no more compelling example of these bonds than the way in which India’s own independence movement inspired Dr. Martin Luther King and the U.S. civil rights movement.

Each one of you here tonight plays an important role in the continuing U.S.-India story. You are increasing our bilateral trade and investment, conducting research to combat emerging health threats, fostering innovation across a diverse range of sectors, and sharing best practices through academic and professional exchanges. In my travels across India over the past year, I have seen how the connections between Indians and Americans are benefiting the lives of thousands of our citizens every day.

Bilateral trade between our countries is growing every year and has reached a new high of $156 billion, supporting tens of thousands of jobs in both our countries. In Tokyo, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi, along with other Indo-Pacific leaders, inaugurated the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that presented a transformative new vision for economies and companies throughout the region, one that will ensure that open and rules-based markets will continue to sustain a rising wave of prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Along with our Quad partners the United States and India will collaborate closely in the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) which will make a vital contribution to the peace, stability, and prosperity so important to the greater good of the Indo-Pacific community. Last October, I had the opportunity to join the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and the Indian Chief of Naval Staff aboard the USS Carl Vinson off the coast of India during Exercise Malabar. I saw first-hand the cooperation between our two navies at sea – an example of what we can accomplish when we work together to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. And it was also my great honor to accompany Minister Jaishankar and Minister Singh to Washington and Hawaii in April for the 2+2 as our two countries continue to pursue an ambitious agenda to deepen our cooperation.

As you all can see, the U.S.-India partnership at 75 continues to rise from strength to strength. What we do together today will pave the way for the next 25 years, and continue to improve the lives our peoples, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world.

As President Biden said to Prime Minister Modi, “There’s so much that our countries can and will do together, and I am committed to making the U.S.-India partnership among the closest we have on Earth.” I look forward to working with all of you to realize that vision and to strengthen our partnership in the years to come.

Thank you.