Thank you to Kallman Worldwide for inviting me to speak at this ribbon cutting for the U.S.A. Partnership Pavilion, and for bringing together so many of our industry partners.
I am pleased that the U.S. Government and American industry are working together to explore ways to deepen industry-to-industry cooperation in U.S.-India defense trade. Collaboration creates and sustains highly skilled employees in both of our countries – including high paying jobs from Ohio to South Carolina, and from Uttar Pradesh to Tamil Nadu – as companies work together both to “Make in India” and to “Make in the United States.”
Bilateral Defense Relationship
I had the pleasure of traveling back to Washington, D.C. last December to attend the second U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between U.S. Secretaries Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo, and Indian Ministers Rajnath Singh and S. Jaishankar. Two themes stood out:
- First, that the pace of defense cooperation between the United States and India is accelerating; and
- Second, that our respective industry partners are playing a key role in the growth of our defense relationship.
As the U.S. Ambassador to India, I have had the opportunity to witness the efforts that are spurring the growth of this defense relationship. For example, last Fall, I observed the first-ever Tiger Triumph tri-services, bilateral exercise.
- Such exercises demonstrate the importance that the United States places on the Indo-Pacific region, and the value of our defense relationship with India.
- When I walked the deck of the USS Germantown, I was struck by the connection among U.S. Sailors and Marines, and their Indian Army and Navy counterparts. The closeness of partnership at all levels of the defense interaction demonstrates the breadth of the people-to-people ties among our armed forces. We are increasingly working together toward common goals.
In 2018, I also had the opportunity to tour the Tata-Boeing joint facility in Hyderabad. There, I was able to get a glimpse into the future of U.S.-India defense trade cooperation.
- I saw first-class workmanship as 350 Indian engineers and technicians contributed to the building of fuselages for all AH-64 Apache aircraft procured worldwide. The Apache is an aircraft that the Indian Air Force began operating last year, and one that the Indian Army will soon acquire.
- These same engineers and technicians are at the heart of an expanding defense industry ecosystem that, with the continued partnership of the United States, can grow to be one of the world’s leaders in defense equipment production.
The U.S. companies represented in this Pavilion will undoubtedly play a role in working with India to achieve this goal, and I would like to thank them for their continued efforts. As the bilateral defense relationship grows, our Embassy will continue to work to facilitate cooperation among our governments and industries.
Once again, I am pleased to be here in Lucknow for DEFEXPO 2020 and to take a tour of the U.S.A. Pavilion. I look forward to seeing the revolutionary defense equipment and advanced technologies on offer to the Indian Armed Forces, and engaging with our industry partners.