US President Joe Biden's ambassadorial nominee to India Eric Garcetti has assured the influential Indian-American community that he will work towards improving bilateral trade and underlined the importance of human rights and pluralism.
During a closed-door dinner meeting with prominent members of the Indian-American community, Garcetti, who is currently the Mayor of Los Angeles, said that President Biden has told him that the US-India relationship is the most important global relationship in his mind.
During the interaction, hosted by Yogi and Monika Chugh, the Indian-American community members emphasised the importance of building and strengthening this partnership and the role they can play in this.
In his remarks, Garcetti affirmed the importance of human rights and pluralism and a commitment to improving trade between the countries. The meeting, which lasted for about two and half hours, is significant because it was Garcetti's first meeting with prominent leaders of the Indian diaspora.
Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna in a passionate and inspiring remark spoke about the importance of the India-US relationship to put a check on China's expansionist ambition and ensure that liberal democracy prevails.
Other eminent Indian Americans including Yogi Chugh; Vinod Khosla (entrepreneur, investor and technologist), businessman Kanwal Rekhi, who is credited as the first Indian-American Founder and CEO to take a venture-backed company public on the NASDAQ, shared similar sentiments about the strategic importance of the relationship, according to those familiar with the meeting and its content.
Indiaspora founder MR Rangaswami presented Garcetti with a book about the rise of Indian Americans. The Los Angeles Mayor told the select community leadership that he would be relying a lot on Indian Americans to inform his views in this new role. Garcetti's nomination has been confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate soon.
Among other attendees at the meeting were Arun Kumar, Vishal Grover, Neil Makhija, B J Arun, Siv Sambasivam, Sushma Malhotra, Anita Manwani Bhagat, Arjun Bhagat, Anil Godhwani, Vinita Gupta, Sumir Chadha, Karl Mehta, Raju Reddy, Anand Rajaraman, AGK Karunakaran and Khanderao Kand. Total bilateral trade between India and the US stood at USD 80.5 billion in 2020-21 as against USD 88.9 billion in 2019-20. India's exports to the US stood at USD 51.62 billion in 2020-21 as against USD 53 billion in 2019-20.