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Indo-US N-deal good: Bush tells Americans

He said that the agreement would help both of them and that he expected India to open wider the doors of trade.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 11:18 IST

US President George W Bush, in his regular Saturday radio address, has conveyed to fellow Americans that the Indo-US nuclear deal was a good one.

He asserted that the two countries had reached a historic agreement which would help both of them and that he expected New Delhi to open wider the doors of trade with the US.

"Like America, India has endured terrorist attacks on its own soil. Like America, India is a democracy that understands that the best way to ensure peace is to advance freedom," said Bush, noting India's efforts to build democratic institutions in Afghanistan too.

The "historic" civilian nuclear agreement will bring not only India's programme under international safeguards and inspection but its civilian nuclear programme "into the international non-proliferation mainstream", he contended.

Bush was in India from March 1 to March 3 during which he and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached the civilian nuclear cooperation deal.

"The agreement also is good for the American economy," insisted the President.

"The agreement will help meet India's surging energy needs, and that will lessen India's growing demand for other energy supplies and help restrain energy prices for American consumers," a point he has persistently hammered on even before he left on the India trip.

"In my meetings with the Prime Minister, I made clear that trade between our countries must be free and fair. I know that America's workers can compete with anyone, any time, anywhere as long as the rules are fair," said the President, trying to assuage fears of outsourcing and job losses that groups within the labour movement have criticised.

He reiterated his points about the growing Indian middle class and its desire for American products, calling it one of the fastest-growing export markets.

"Middle class Indians are buying home appliances from American companies like Whirlpool. Younger Indians are enjoying McCurry meals from McDonald's. And Air-India has recently ordered 68 planes from Boeing," announced the President, dwelling on companies that are household names in this country.

Last year, exports to India grew by more than 30 per cent.

"And all this trade is creating jobs and opportunity in America. So, we will continue to work to level the playing field for our workers, farmers, and businesses, and deliver a better life for all Americans," he asserted.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 11:18 IST