United States envoy pitches for FTA with India


"The US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster on Thursday said hailed immigrants" contribution to the US economy and said its policy on immigrants is not going to change.

Juster further added, "A number of US companies have reported increasing difficulties conducting business in the largest market in the region - China".

Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest in alternative markets.

Stating that the US's "America First" and Modi's "Make in India" were not "incompatible" he stressed that "investing in each other's markets will be mutually beneficial-it will increase our economic interactions and volume of trade, lead to collaboration on emerging technologies, and create jobs in both countries".

The speech was organised by Carnegie India - India chapter of noted USA think tank.

On defence and counter-terrorism, Juster observed that both India and the United States have suffered "horrific terrorist attacks" and continue to be targeted.

"We have a strong mutual interest in eliminating this threat to our societies". All these developments clearly show that Pakistan is sincerely working to eliminate the menace of terrorism and some regional countries are blocking its way but still propaganda has been unleashed against the country on the pretext of providing safe havens to Haqqani Network. He pointed out that in little more than a decade, the United States defence trade with India has expanded from virtually nothing to over 15 billion dollars, and includes sales of some of America's most advanced military equipment. "But we also want to make it clear that if they are going to be engaged in certain predatory economic behaviour or other activities than there's an alternative set of principles that other countries of the region are going to follow", he said.

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"Now, India is celebrating its membership in two of the four multilateral export control regimes the Wassenaar Arrangement on dual-use items, which India just joined, and the Missile Technology Control Regime".

Juster, who was earlier Under Secretary at the US Commerce Department, urged India to take advantage of its growing ties with the US and transform itself as an alternative hub for US business in the Indo-Pacific region.

Juster, however, made no reference to Pakistan in his speech.

"We are working closely with India and our worldwide partners to secure India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group".

"Our leaders are committed to supporting Afghanistan's National Unity Government and helping build that country's democratic institutions".

Allaying fears of a probable change in the visa regulations that could affect around 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders and could even lead to them being deported, American Ambassador Kenneth Juster assured on January 11 that the United States will continue to be a country of immigrants and that will not change.

He described regional cooperation to promote stability and welfare the final pillar in building out our strategic partnership. "India needs to take a strategic view of the economic relationship, so a roadmap for FTA could be laid".