(Bloomberg) -- US-India relations are mature and will continue to grow irrespective of the winner in this year’s US presidential election, according to a top trade group working with New Delhi and Washington to enhance commercial ties.

As long as working with India makes business sense, the relationship will grow and “governments will come and go,” said Mukesh Aghi, president and chief executive officer of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, when asked whether a change in leadership in Washington could lead to a rethink in the US about its relationship with India. 

“Trump’s leadership was very transactional, whereas Biden is much more structural,” Aghi said.

Former President Donald Trump sought closer ties with India during his time in office, viewing the rising South Asian nation as a counterweight to China. The approach has largely continued under President Joe Biden, with a greater emphasis on partnering with allies and like-minded countries, as a tougher posture toward China now enjoys bipartisan support in Washington.

As the US and China compete, Washington and New Delhi have come closer to collaborating on critical areas such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and space. 

Biden described burgeoning US ties with India as one of the “defining relationships of the 21st century” when hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House last June.

As an example of those deepening ties, Aghi cited the case of the Boston, Massachusetts-based General Electric’s plans to jointly manufacture jet engines with an Indian partner in the South Asian country. 

US and India agreed last year to manufacture engines with GE partnering with India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which could give it an edge over its rivals. 

“For GE to manufacture engines in India in the long term, they can compete with Rolls-Royce, they can compete with Pratt & Whitney, because you can generate [them] at a much lower cost itself,” Aghi said.

India, US Near Deal to Build Jet Engines in Boost to Modi (1)

US and India to Co-Produce Armored Vehicles to Counter China (2)

India to Buy First U.S. Armed Drones to Counter China, Pakistan 

On semiconductors, India is concentrating on legacy chips needed for consumer electrical goods and automobiles — 65 to 45 nanometer transistors — while the US has focused on more cutting-edge 7 nanometer chips and below, according to Aghi, adding that the two sides have plans to upgrade the capabilities of an Indian state-owned semiconductor manufacturer. 

The South Asian country would benefit from extending electronic vehicle maker Tesla a good deal to set up a manufacturing plant in India, Aghi said, when asked about the EV maker’s stalled plans for investing in India. Each vehicle needs thousands of chips, “which creates a local demand for chips playing into the government strategy of semiconductor manufacturing in India,” he said.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.