Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday extolled Indian Americans’ impact on every part of U.S. life, from corporate C-suites to Hollywood studios and university labs.
Ms. Harris, speaking at a luncheon for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the State Department, recalled trips to India to see the birthplace of her mother and visit her grandparents. She also said there is a “historic number” of members of Congress with Indian heritage, acknowledging some of them in the room.
“They’re known as the Samosa Caucus, for those of you who don’t know,” she said with a laugh.
The White House is rolling out the red carpet for Mr. Modi as the U.S. courts India as an economic partner and key member of the “Quad” group that includes the U.S., Australia and Japan as a check on Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
“India’s global engagement has not only been to the benefit of the people of India but also to the benefit of the people of the United States and people around the world,” Ms. Harris said. “So Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your role of leadership to help India emerge as a global power in the 21st century.”
Mr. Modi said the U.S.-Indian friendship “needs to become even deeper” and hailed Ms. Harris’ historic role as the first female vice president.
“Your achievements are an inspiration to not only the women in America but to women in India and women all across the world,” Mr. Modi said at the luncheon, which included Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Earlier Friday, President Biden and Mr. Modi met with business leaders from India and the U.S., including Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“Our countries are taking innovation and cooperation to a new level. Thanks in large part to the folks around this table,” Mr. Biden said. “We have to keep it up and we have to make sure we aim even higher.”
Mr. Biden said both nations must combat climate change and lift people out of poverty. The president also said economic progress must be coupled with efforts to “build guardrails around emerging technologies” so they are “trustworthy, secure and uphold our shared values in human rights.”