How Indian Exports to USA Can Boost the Economy: A Comprehensive Analysis
Indian exports to the USA have shown a remarkable growth in the past few years, reaching US$ 51.1 billion in 2020. This article will explore the trends, opportunities and challenges of this trade relationship, and how it can benefit both countries in terms of economic development, innovation and strategic partnership.
India and the USA are two of the largest economies in the world, with a combined GDP of over US$ 30 trillion. They are also among the top trading partners of each other, with bilateral trade reaching US$ 78.5 billion in 2020. The USA is the largest export destination for India, accounting for about 17% of its total exports. India is the ninth largest export market for the USA, with a share of about 2% of its total exports.
The major exported items from India to the USA
The major exported items from India to the USA include pearls and precious stones/metals and articles thereof, imitation jewellery and coin (US$ 14,667.49 million); followed by pharmaceutical products (US$ 6,472.25 million); and nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, and mechanical appliances; parts thereof (US$ 5,798.52 million) in FY21. India has also emerged as a key supplier of generic drugs, vaccines, medical devices and IT services to the USA, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The major imported items from the USA to India
The major imported items from the USA to India include mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes (US$ 6,144.63 million); followed by aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof (US$ 3,608.35 million); and electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles (US$ 3,074.85 million) in FY21. The USA is also a major source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, innovation and education for India.
The trade relationship between India and the USA has been driven by several factors, such as:
- The complementarity of their economies, with India having a large pool of skilled labor, low-cost manufacturing base, growing consumer market and potential for renewable energy; and the USA having a strong demand for high-quality goods and services, advanced technology, innovation and capital.
- The strategic partnership between the two countries, based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and security interests in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries have also enhanced their cooperation on various issues such as counter-terrorism, defense, energy, health, climate change and space.
- The people-to-people ties between the two countries, fostered by the vibrant Indian diaspora in the USA, which is estimated to be over 4 million strong. The Indian diaspora has contributed significantly to the economic, social and cultural development of both countries, as well as to their bilateral relations.
- The policy initiatives taken by both governments to facilitate trade and investment flows, such as the Trade Policy Forum (TPF), the Commercial Dialogue (CD), the CEO Forum, the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP), the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (CNCA), the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and the US-India Startup Initiative.
However, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed to further enhance the trade relationship between India and the USA, such as:
- The trade imbalance between the two countries, which favors India by a large margin. The USA has a trade deficit of US$ 23.7 billion with India in 2020, which is one of its largest with any country. The USA has raised concerns over India’s trade barriers, such as high tariffs, non-tariff measures, intellectual property rights protection, market access issues and regulatory hurdles.
- The trade disputes between the two countries at various forums, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), where they have filed several cases against each other on issues such as agricultural subsidies, steel tariffs, solar panels, poultry products and digital services taxes. These disputes have affected the trust and confidence between the two trading partners.
- The impact of COVID-19 on both economies, which has disrupted supply chains, reduced demand and increased uncertainty. The pandemic has also exposed the vulnerabilities of both countries in terms of health infrastructure, vaccine production and distribution, digital connectivity and social security.
To overcome these challenges and realize the full potential of their trade relationship, India and the USA need to adopt a collaborative approach that balances their interests and concerns. Some of the possible steps that can be taken are:
- Negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement that covers goods, services, investment, intellectual property rights, e-commerce and other areas of mutual interest. Such an agreement can help reduce trade barriers, increase market access, harmonize standards, resolve disputes and create a level playing field for both countries.
- Enhancing sectoral cooperation in areas such as agriculture, energy, health, education, defense, space and digital economy. Such cooperation can help leverage the comparative advantages, synergies and complementarities of both countries, and foster innovation, technology transfer, capacity building and job creation.
- Strengthening the institutional mechanisms for dialogue and consultation, such as the TPF, the CD, the CEO Forum, the SEP, the CNCA, the DTTI and the US-India Startup Initiative. Such mechanisms can help address the issues and challenges faced by both countries, and identify new opportunities and areas of cooperation.
- Expanding the people-to-people ties between the two countries, especially among the youth, entrepreneurs, academics, professionals and civil society. Such ties can help build mutual understanding, trust and goodwill between the two countries, and promote cultural exchange, knowledge sharing and social impact.
India and the USA have a unique opportunity to transform their trade relationship into a strategic partnership that can benefit both countries and the world. By working together, they can not only boost their economic growth and development, but also contribute to global peace, stability and prosperity.
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Indian Exports to USA: Trends and Prospects
India is one of the largest trading partners of the United States, with bilateral trade reaching $146.1 billion in 2020. India’s exports to the US accounted for $57.7 billion, or 16.8% of its total exports, making the US the top destination for Indian goods. In this blog post, we will analyze the trends and prospects of Indian exports to the US, focusing on three key sectors: gems and jewelry, pharmaceuticals, and engineering goods.
Gems and Jewelry
Gems and jewelry is one of the most important export sectors for India, contributing to 12.9% of its total exports in 2020. India is the world’s largest exporter of cut and polished diamonds, and also supplies gold jewelry, silver jewelry, colored gemstones, pearls, and synthetic stones to the US market. According to the Trading Economics website, India exported $13.66 billion worth of pearls, precious stones, metals, and coins to the US in 2020, an increase of 9.8% from 2019. The US is the largest market for Indian gems and jewelry, accounting for 40% of its total exports in this sector.
The prospects for Indian gems and jewelry exports to the US are positive, as the demand for these products is expected to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US economy is showing signs of recovery, with consumer spending and confidence increasing. The vaccination drive and stimulus measures are also boosting consumer sentiment and disposable income. Moreover, the US-India trade relations are likely to improve under the Biden administration, which may lead to lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers for Indian exporters.
Pharmaceuticals is another major export sector for India, contributing to 8.3% of its total exports in 2020. India is the world’s largest supplier of generic drugs, and also exports active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), vaccines, biologics, and herbal products to the US market. According to the Trading Economics website, India exported $6.71 billion worth of pharmaceutical products to the US in 2020, a decrease of 7.6% from 2019. The US is the largest market for Indian pharmaceuticals, accounting for 28% of its total exports in this sector.
The prospects for Indian pharmaceutical exports to the US are mixed, as there are both opportunities and challenges for Indian exporters. On one hand, the demand for pharmaceutical products is expected to increase in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the aging population. India has a competitive advantage in producing low-cost and high-quality generic drugs, which can help reduce healthcare costs and increase access to medicines in the US. India is also a major producer of COVID-19 vaccines, which can boost its exports to the US and other countries. On the other hand, Indian exporters face regulatory hurdles, quality issues, intellectual property rights disputes, and trade tensions with the US. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed import bans and warning letters on several Indian drug makers due to violations of good manufacturing practices (GMP). The US government has also launched investigations into alleged dumping and subsidies by Indian exporters, which may result in anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties. Furthermore, the US government has pressured India to strengthen its intellectual property rights regime and grant data exclusivity and patent extensions to US drug makers.
Engineering goods is another significant export sector for India, contributing to 7.8% of its total exports in 2020. India exports a variety of engineering goods to the US market, such as machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles, iron and steel products, aluminum products, tools, implements, cutlery etc. According to the Trading Economics website, India exported $9.36 billion worth of machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers etc., $5.4 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment etc., $3.04 billion worth of vehicles etc., $4.25 billion worth of articles of iron or steel etc., $1.22 billion worth of aluminum etc., $292 million worth of tools etc., to the US in 2020.
The prospects for Indian engineering goods exports to the US are optimistic, as there are several factors that can enhance India’s competitiveness and market access in this sector. First, India has a large pool of skilled engineers, technicians, and workers who can produce high-quality and innovative engineering products at competitive prices. Second, India has a diversified industrial base that can cater to various segments and niches of the US market. Third, India has a strong domestic demand that can support its export-oriented industries through economies of scale and scope. Fourth, India has a strategic partnership with the US that can facilitate trade and investment flows, technology transfers, and cooperation in areas such as defense, energy, infrastructure, and innovation.
India’s exports to the US have shown a remarkable growth over the years, reflecting the complementarities and synergies between the two economies. India has a comparative advantage in sectors such as gems and jewelry, pharmaceuticals, and engineering goods, which can further expand its exports to the US in the coming years. However, India also faces some challenges and risks in its trade relations with the US, such as regulatory barriers, quality issues, trade disputes, and intellectual property rights concerns. Therefore, India needs to adopt a proactive and pragmatic approach to address these issues and enhance its trade potential with the US.
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