USA envoy pitches for FTA with India

Kenneth I. Juster

Kenneth I. Juster | @USAndIndia

"The US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster on Thursday said hailed immigrants" contribution to the US economy and said its policy on immigrants is not going to change. One is Afghanistan, where we both have a strong interest in promoting peace, security and prosperity.

"As the US National Security Strategy recognizes, India is "a leading power" in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond".

During his first speech ever since taking over as the new envoy, at Carnegie-India's special event, Juster also said the USA is partnering with India on counter terrorism and that President Donald Trump and other United States leaders have been clear that they will not tolerate cross-border terrorism or terrorist safe havens anywhere.

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India is a "leading power" in the Indo-Pacific and should gear up to become an alternative manufacturing destination to China to attract US business, said USA ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. After membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement and MTCR, Juster said, India would "very soon" become a member of the Australia Group.

"But let me go further and suggest that it is time to put a strategic lens on our economic relationship, just as we have done with our defence relationship", he said. "This would complement our growing defence and counter-terrorism partnership, and moderate any policy differences that might arise along the way", Juster said.

The US government is planning a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India in an effort to boost two-way trade that now stands at $115 billion. "A prominent example of this commitment was the Trump Administration's decision last June to approve the sale of the Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial System, positioning India to be our first non-NATO partner or treaty ally to acquire this advanced platform", Juster said.

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Juster informed that a number of U.S. companies have reported increasing difficulties in conducting business in the largest market in the region, China.

"Pakistan is also important to the situation in Afghanistan". Talking about India's NSG bid, he said, "We are working with partners to secure India's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership". He was speaking at an event on the subject "India-US Relations: Building a Durable Partnership for the 21st century".

The US regards India as a "leading power" in the Indo-Pacific region and declared it would not tolerate cross-border terrorism or safe havens for terror.

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"Opening India's market further to USA trade and investment will spur our collaboration on many emerging technologies that will drive and protect our economies, including those related to advanced manufacturing and cyber security", he said. "Together we want to ensure a free and open region, where rule of law and democratic principles are reflected", he said. "President Trump and other U.S. leaders have been clear that we will not tolerate cross-border terrorism or terrorist safe havens anywhere", he said.

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