US seeks level playing field for American firmsSeptember 9th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 9 (IANS) The US would like India to wait for the approval of their civil nuclear deal by the US Congress before rushing into similar pacts with others, saying it wanted a level playing field for US companies”Fundamentally, we want a level playing field for American business,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday as the Bush administration geared up to win Congressional approval for the India deal following the waiver on nuclear trade from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Asked if any considerations were being made to meet the concerns of US firms that other countries might get an upper hand in the billions of dollars in nuclear trade that will open up with India as US Congress deliberates over the deal, he said: “I couldn’t speak to that. I’m not aware what, if anything, we are doing.” But “fundamentally, we want a level playing field for American business.”
“We believe that American business, if allowed to compete on a level playing field, is more than capable of winning its share of business around the world, more than capable of winning its contracts around the world, regardless of whether it’s a nuclear energy or any other industry,” McCormack said.
Earlier US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice too has said that Washington would talk to India about not “disadvantaging American companies” eyeing the 100 billion dollar nuclear pie if the US Congress is unable to approve their civil nuclear deal quickly.
On whether the administration was surprised by China’s opposition to the energy waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting in Vienna, McCormack said the nuclear cartel had approved the move by consensus and China did not finally stand in its way.
“I’ll let the Chinese government speak to their views about the diplomatic process in Vienna, but the NSG operates by consensus, and since everybody agreed to allow this to move forward, one can deduce that the Chinese at least didn’t stand in the way of it moving forward,” he said.