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US trade body lobbies for nuclear deal

The nuclear deal is becoming a big opportunity for US companies with the trade body vowing to support the bill.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2006 22:09 IST

Ahead of the tabling of the bill on Indo-US civilian nuclear deal in the Senate, a premier US trade body has asked lawmakers to support it saying it will lay the foundation for major trade and investment opportunities for US companies while promoting American non- proliferation objectives.

"By ending India's isolation in civilian nuclear power, S 3709 (Senate Bill) will lay the foundation for major trade and investment opportunities for US companies," the US Chamber of Commerce's Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, Bruce Josten said in a letter to Senators.

India's energy requirements through 2012 will involve investments of more than USD 170 billion. US firms look forward to providing the equipment, services and technology to assist India in meeting its energy security needs, it said.

"India's nuclear power requirements are projected to generate as many as 27,000 high quality jobs each year for the next ten years in the US nuclear industry alone," Josten told Senators.

"If the US foregoes this opportunity, these benefits will go to the competition," Josten warned law makers stressing that US will accrue other important benefits by initiating civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

He said the deal will put in place the necessary framework to finally bring India's civilian nuclear programmw under international safeguards.

The Bill is expected to be tabled in the Senate for a debate and vote prior to its adjournment on September 29.

The senior Chamber of Commerce official hoped that the differences between the House of Representatives version of the bill and that of the Senate "will be resolved in a way that will promote US nonproliferation objectives while reinforcing the U.S.{India strategic partnership"

"Congress has a historic opportunity to strengthen the growing partnership between the world's oldest and the world's largest democracies. Therefore, the US Chamber of Commerce strongly encourages your support for passage of S. 3709..." Josten told lawmakers.

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