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US Reaffirms Commitment to Secure India's NSG Membership

13 January, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Kenneth I. Juster

U.S. ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Thursday said the United States would not tolerate any cross-border terrorism or safe havens, adding- -in response to a question - that security assistance had been suspended by the USA to Pakistan because they (Pakistan) were not doing all that they could in eliminating terror sanctuaries.

"A number of US companies have reported increasing difficulties conducting business in the largest market in the region - China". "Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets". But the United States complains that India still has many protective barriers in place, should deepen economic reforms and take steps to narrow its $30 billion trade deficit with the US. "I don't think we are going to get stability and security in Afghanistan if Pakistan does not contribute positively to that", Envoy Juster said, in his inaugural policy speech on US-India relations here.

It is noteworthy that Juster went on to describe India as a "leading power" in the Indo-Pacific region. However, he believes that the economic relationship between the two countries could help increase trade volumes and ultimately culminate in a free trade agreement.

The US envoy to India further emphasized on the "many" benefits of growing the bilateral economic relationship and making India a regional hub for USA business.




He also said although bilateral trade has reached $115 billion in 2016 from $20 billion in 2001, there is still plenty of room to expand the flow of goods and services in both directions and, in the process, for trade to become more reciprocal. We can advance these objectives in several ways, which we expect to discuss this spring in our new 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and incorporate in a roadmap to drive action on both sides, " said Juster.

"We are concerned about persistent trade deficits, including the one we have with India. And we are working closely with India and our worldwide partners to secure India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group", he said.

The US envoy also spoke about acquisition of American-made weaponry and platforms by India, saying the US did not want to be just a defence supplier but that the two countries could work together in various spheres, even producing fighter aircraft.

"We want to promote respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, guarantee freedom of navigation overflight and commerce and other lawful uses of the sea, ensure territorial and maritime disputes are resolved peacefully consistent with worldwide laws", he added. "And that's not going to change". After the nuclear deal and the growing defence and strategic relations between India and US, Juster believes the next big thing in the US-India relationship would be in the economic sphere, now the most troubled spot in bilateral relations.

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