With US becoming India’s largest trade partner, is India-China trade decoupling?

21 June, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

According to the most recent data from India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the United States has surpassed China as India's top trading partner, with bilateral trade totaling USD 119.42 bill...

According to the most recent data from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the United States has surpassed China as India’s top trading partner, with bilateral trade totaling USD 119.42 billion.

According to the statistics, India’s trade exports to the US climbed from approximately USD 51.62 billion in the previous fiscal year to approximately USD 76.11 billion, while imports increased from about USD 29 billion to approximately USD 43.31 billion.

Polished diamonds, medicinal products, jewellery, light oil and petroleum, frozen shrimp, cosmetics, and other items are among India’s biggest exports to the United States. The majority of India’s imports from the United States include oil, liquefied natural gas, gold, coal, recycled goods and scrap iron, huge almonds, and so on.

According to the statistics, the bilateral trade volume between India and China in the fiscal year 2021-2022 is around USD 115.42 billion, an increase of almost 1/3 over the previous fiscal year of USD 86.4 billion.

India’s exports to China are around USD 21.25 billion, while its imports from China are approximately USD 94.16 billion.

According to reports, the import volume of Chinese goods is expanding, and the top 100 imported commodities each have an import value of more than USD 100 million. Experts in India feel that India’s reliance on China for manufactured goods imports shows no signs of abating.

China’s and India’s statistical data diverge, resulting in disparities in the trade volume numbers declared by each.

According to Chinese statistics, China has been India’s major commercial partner from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 and 2020-2021. Along with China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates were previously India’s top commercial partners.

China has not always been India’s major commercial partner, and the United States has not always been India’s largest trading partner. For a long period, China and India had relatively big trade deficits, while India ran a trade surplus with the US. As a result, India has traditionally considered the United States as an essential export market.

Given the foregoing facts, it is worthwhile to investigate what happened to the US-India trade. Will the price of Chinese goods in India fall? Will the commerce and economics between China and India deteriorate?

India imports everything from little screws to giant TVs, refrigerators, and mobile phones, the majority of which are Chinese products.

These Chinese items are of exceptional quality and low cost, and are nearly unrivalled by other countries. They are quite popular with Indian customers, and even the items used by Indians to worship gods, as well as numerous beautiful flowers, purses, shoes, and caps, etc., are made in China.

The Indian media frequently uses China to demonstrate how Chinese goods “invade” India. Because of their cost-effectiveness and affordability, mobile phones and consumer gadgets stand out the most.

Whereas the majority of US exports to India are energy and agricultural items, China’s exports to India are largely manufactured products, giving the appearance that Chinese products have taken over the Indian market.

However, in less obvious contexts, such as developing information areas, the United States dominates. Amazon, Google’s search engine, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, to name a few.

The pandemic and India’s attempt to “decouple” from China have both contributed to the ongoing improvement of US-India commercial relations. However, the security component is essential, since India has expedited the substitution of Chinese industries with the support of the “China fear” attitude at home and abroad.

India wishes to separate itself from China by attracting money from the United States and other countries, establishing high-tech firms, and deeply participating in the global supply chain in order to encourage the rapid growth of India’s domestic manufacturing industry. However, the foundations of China-India economic and commercial cooperation remain unchanged for the time being.