Poll results would not affect Obama agenda on Asia trip: aide

November 2nd, 2010 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, Nov 2 (IANS) The predicted rout of US President Barack Obama’s Democratic party in Tuesday’s Congressional poll would not affect his economic agenda on his Asia trip, starting with India, according to a top aide.

“I think regardless of the election results, the President is committed throughout this whole trip and including the negotiations over the free trade agreement (with South Korea) to doing what is right for expanding US exports and creating jobs here at home,” Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman told reporters Monday.

“That’s why he’s going to Asia, and starting with India, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan-and participating in a number of efforts to expand US export opportunities and jobs here at home,” he said. “So I think that will be his agenda, regardless of the outcome of the election tomorrow.”

Noting that India is the first stop on Obama’s Asia trip, Froman said: “We very much view India as a critical component of Asia. And it being a very fast-growing economy, a very successful economy, we see great opportunities in the bilateral economic relationship.

“We also see great opportunities in working with India, whether it’s in the G20 or elsewhere, on broader, global economic issues,” he said suggesting Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, “I think they’ll be talking.”

“They have a good relationship around these issues, and look forward to working together on them,” Froman said noting they’ll both be at the G20 summit in South Korea. But there are no plans for a separate meeting, he said.

Alluding to differences over certain trade issues with India, he said: “There will be discussion about economic issues between the two countries, some of which could be resolved, some of which will take longer to resolve.”

“But there also will be discussion of various commercial contracts that we hope to bring to fruition between now and the President’s trip that are immediate and will create jobs back here at home right away and expand US exports,” he said.

“There are a whole range of potential contracts that are being worked on.” Froman said declining to spell them out.

Asked what the US expected to export to India, the aide said Washington was looking to export from its “very globally competitive manufacturing service and agricultural sectors.”

“So in all areas of our economy, we hope to expand exports to a fast-growing market like India,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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