N-deal: Eyeing $175 bn business, USIBC seeks fast Senate passage

September 28th, 2008 - 10:40 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 28 (IANS) The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has sought immediate Senate passage of the India-US civil nuclear deal lest American companies lose out on the $175 billion opportunity offered by the accord.”Until the Senate acts, US companies will be disallowed from competing for India’s $175 billion opportunity in nuclear power,” said USIBC president Ron Somers applauding Saturday’s 298-117 approval of the deal by the House of Representatives.

Formed in 1975 under the aegis of the US Chamber of Commerce, USIBC is the premier business advocacy organisation representing 300 of the largest US companies investing in India and seeking to deepen US-India commercial ties.

The House endorsement “is the ‘next to final hurdle’ that needs to be crossed before US companies can participate in India’s civil nuclear build-out,” Somers said.

“This is yet another milestone in the US-India strategic partnership,” he said. “But Senate passage is required before US companies can participate in civil nuclear trade with India.

“Given the strong bipartisan Congressional support for this initiative and the endorsement of both US presidential candidates, there is no reason for any further delay on a Senate vote.”

The 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver for India “is an international acknowledgement of India’s responsible development and oversight of its domestic civil nuclear programme, which has operated without accident for more than three decades, and with zero proliferation beyond its borders,” Somers said.

“For our economy and the American jobs this opportunity represents, for our partnership with India, for non-proliferation, and for the global environment, we hope the US Senate will conclude this deal without delay,”
he said.

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