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American CEOs join ranks over Indo-US nuke deal

Top US business leaders have asked legislators to pass laws saying the historic opportunity must not be lost.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 10:36 IST
Sridhar Krishnaswami (PTI)
Sridhar Krishnaswami (PTI)

Ahead of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Congressional testimony on the Indo-US nuclear deal on Wednesday, top US business leaders have asked legislators to pass laws needed for atomic energy cooperation with India saying the "historic opportunity" must not be lost.

"We strongly believe Congress should enact the necessary legislation to enable civilian nuclear cooperation which will catalyse the synergies of our two democracies in the war against terrorism and will foster technological innovation and the creation of commercial opportunities bringing prosperity to millions," the CEOs of various companies said in a letter to Democrat and Republican Congressmen.

"In our collective view, this historic opportunity must not be lost," said the letter signed among others by William Harrison Jr, JP Morgan Chase Board Chairman and addressed to the Chair and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House International relations Committee before which Rice is scheduled to testify.

"American business leaders are united in their belief that fundamentally upgrading the US-India relationship represents one of the most important strategic innovations in foreign policy since the end of the Cold War," they said.

"Such legislation will be viewed within India as a genuine manifestation of mutual trust and respect and will signal to the world the alignment of two great democracies with shared values for the 21st Century," the CEOs said.

The letter was co-signed by CEOs of AES Corporation, Dow Chemical Company, Honeywell Inc, McGraw-Hill Companies, Parsons Brinckeroff Inc and Xerox Inc.

"There is broad appreciation that we have begun a new era in our bilateral partnership around the issues that unite us -- a commitment to democracy and a multicultural society; open and fair markets based on private enterprise and entrepreneurship and the potential for technological innovation to solve problems," the CEOs said.

The business leaders said that during their deliberations in both countries, they recognised that there is "an enormous potential for US and India to grow their bilateral flow of trade and investment and for creating a wide range of mutually benefical business opportunities of interest to both sides."

"Central to this partnership is the trust and respect in the US-India relationship which finds powerful expression in the July 18, 2005 Joint Statement of President Bush and Prime Minister Singh regarding the sharing of civilian nuclear technology with India," they said.

The signatories sent identical letters to the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar and Ranking Democrat Senator Joseph Biden as well as to the Chair of the House International Relations Committee Henry Hyde and ranking Democrat Congressman Tom Lantos.

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 09:19 IST