n-deal may support 250,000 American jobs: US chamber
Sep 23 (IANS) The powerful US Chamber of Commerce has come
out in strong support of the India-US civil nuclear deal,
saying a modest share of the potential $150 billion business
could support 250,000 high-tech American jobs.
the US Congress to approve the implementing 123 Agreement
before its term expires by the end of this year, the "world's
largest business federation representing more than three million
businesses of every size, sector and region" said the
deal offered US companies a "tremendous opportunity".
US administration too has touted the support of American business
to win final Congress approval of the deal before President
George W. Bush leaves office next January if not before Indian
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes to visit him at the White
House Sep 25.
with the administration and the Congress haggling over a $700
billion Bush proposal to rescues the US financial system from
its biggest crisis, the deal is unlikely to be done before
the Manmohan Singh visit despite bipartisan support for it
in both chambers.
India's 34-year nuclear isolation now history, the opportunity
for US companies today is tremendous, with an expected 30,000
to 60,000 MWe of new nuclear generating capacity by 2030,
representing a potential $150 billion of new investment,"
the chamber chairman R. Bruce Josten said in a letter to the
US companies are allowed to compete, a modest share of that
business could support 250,000 high-tech American jobs,"
he wrote. "Moreover, the nuclear business would be a
fraction of the broader commercial gain across all sectors
after this foundation, established of mutual trust and respect,
that "French and Russian firms are already working in
India, yet US firms cannot engage until Congressional approval
of the 123 Agreement", Josten said: "It is crucial
that Congress act".
has a historic opportunity to strengthen the growing partnership
between the world's oldest and largest democracies and support
thousands of US jobs in the process," he said, strongly
urging "the House and Senate to approve this historic
initiative before the close of the 110th Congress."
US-India civil nuclear initiative will bring India into the
international nuclear non-proliferation mainstream and enhance
the safety of India's civil programme.
initiative will also help to revitalise the US nuclear industry
and create thousands of high-tech American jobs, the letter
from the chamber said, noting India's civil nuclear programme
commenced operation when its first reactor, made by General
Electric, began producing nuclear power in 1961.
affirmed India's worthiness as a partner in civil nuclear
trade in December 2006 when it passed the Henry J. Hyde United
States India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act by overwhelming
bipartisan margins, it noted.
then, sensitive issues relating to non-proliferation have
been carefully considered and unanimously resolved by the
35 governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
and the 45 member nations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),
the chamber said.
Bush administration has also sought to sell the deal to US
Congress advancing similar arguments in touting its non-proliferation,
environmental and economic benefits that will accrue to both
India and the US.
civil nuclear initiative enjoys strong support from US industry,
and India's ambitious nuclear energy plans demonstrate why,"
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns
told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on
the deal last week.
officials indicate they plan to import at least eight new
1,000 MW power reactors by 2012, and additional reactors in
the years ahead, he said. Preliminary private studies suggest
that even just two of these reactor contracts for US firms
would add 3,000-5,000 new direct jobs, and about 10,000-15,000
indirect jobs in the United States, Burns said.
the panel's attention to the strong "commercial letter"
of intent US had negotiated with India, "which has been
strongly endorsed by key US firms", the official said
the key benefits of the initiative were "compelling".
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