N-deal will change Indo-US ties: US lawmaker

A senior lawmaker said the deal would have a positive economic effect in many areas including defence procurement.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 17:59 IST

Describing the Indo-US nuclear deal as a "visionary agreement," a senior lawmaker has sought support of his Congressional colleagues for the pact saying it will "truly transform" bilateral ties and have a "positive economic effect" in many areas including defence procurement.

"This visionary agreement will truly transform US-India relations and is a positive step in the right direction for our two nations. I respectfully request your support," Joe Wilson, a Republican, said in a 'Dear Colleague" letter to Congressmen.

Recalling the economic rationale of the civilian nuclear deal as advanced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her testimony in Congress on Wednesday, he said "...As many as 3,000 to 5,000 new direct jobs in the United States and about 10,000 to 15,000 indirect jobs, could be created as a direct result of this agreement.

"The long-term benefits are also enormous. India currently experiences numerous power shortages, which hinders its economic growth. By expanding civilian nuclear power, this agreement will enable the people of India to compete in the global economy. India's middle class consists of 300 million people, and as they become more prosperous, they will increasingly rely upon US goods and services."

India's infrastructure, Wilson said, "needs more than $1 trillion of investment, which will provide new opportunities for the US. In 2005, US merchandise exports to India increased by 30 per cent over the previous year. Over the past four years, US exports to India nearly doubled, and India is now our fastest growing export market."

"India's economy is growing at seven per cent, and future projections of economic growth are bright. We currently maintain a trade surplus with India in the services sector, and now is the time to lay a foundation with India to ensure free and fair economic trade.

"This agreement will solidify US-India relations and have a positive economic effect in many areas, including defence procurement," Wilson, the former Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for India and Indian-Americans, pointed out in the letter.

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 17:59 IST