During a visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of a joint meeting of Congress during which he stressed the common characteristics of the two democracies and the long-term friendship between the two countries.  In a speech of more than 45 minutes, Mr. Modi returned to parallels between the two countries and addressed a large number of issues on which the two countries have collaborated in the past and where the future approach would lie.  The economic sanctions imposed by the United States in response to India`s may 1998 nuclear tests appeared, at least initially, to seriously damage Indo-American relations. President Bill Clinton imposed large-scale sanctions under the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994. U.S. sanctions against Indian entities active in the nuclear industry and opposition to loans from international financial institutions for non-humanitarian aid projects in India. The United States has encouraged India to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) without delay and unconditionally. The United States also called for restraint on the missile and nuclear missile tests and their deployment by India and Pakistan.
The dialogue on non-proliferation, launched following the 1998 nuclear tests, has bridged many of the differences in agreement between countries. Bilateral trade deficits. Once not a leading U.S. trade group, they became a priority when Trump passed an executive order in 2017 imposing a study on the United States` major trade deficits. India has slightly reduced the goods trade deficit with the United States from $24.3 billion in 2016, the tenth largest this year, to $23.3 billion in 2019, the eleventh largest. Indian negotiators have proposed reducing the deficit through major purchases of products such as liquefied natural gas and aircraft. Intellectual property rights in India have been a major concern of the United States since at least 1989, the year of the first Special Report 301, mandated by Congress to identify intellectual property issues in trade. These concerns include software, film and music piracy, as well as weak patent protection.
In this first report, India was one of eight countries on a priority compliance list [PDF]. India has become an important trading partner of the United States over the past two decades, but this relationship has been tarnished by long-standing disagreements over everything from dairy products to the protection of intellectual property rights. Joint Chiefs of Staff President Mike Mullen encouraged stronger military relations between India and the United States and said that “India has become an increasingly important strategic partner [of the United States].”  U.S. Secretary of State William Joseph Burns also said, “There has never been a time when India and America have been more important to each other.”  Deputy Defense Minister Ashton Carter said in his speech to the Asian Society on August 1, 2012 in New York that India-U.S. relations were global in terms of the scope and influence of the two countries. He also said that the two countries are strengthening relations between their defence and research organizations.  The influence of a large Indo-American community is reflected in the largest nationwide caucus in the U.S. Congress, with more than 100,000 Indian students attending U.S. colleges and universities between 2009 and 2010.  The partnership between the United States and India is based on a common commitment to freedom, democratic principles, equal treatment of all citizens, human rights and the rule of law.