Working to secure India's NSG membership: US Ambassador Kenneth Juster

Working to secure India's NSG membership: US Ambassador Kenneth Juster

US Ambassador Kenneth Juster put forward the suggestions in his first policy address on India-US relations in New Delhi on Thursday. Rather investing in each others markets will mutually beneficial, will increase economic interactions and volume of trade. On the defence front, he said, "a combination of interests underpins the future success of these initiatives - the Indian government interest in technology and engaging in the co-development and co-production of military equipment; the US Government interest in safeguarding information and technology; our mutual interest in increasing the interoperability of our forces; and the shared interests of our companies in growing and creating jobs. perhaps in the next year, we can announce major agreements enabling cooperation in areas such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms; fighter aircraft production; and the co-development of next-generation systems, including a Future Vertical Lift platform or Advanced Technology Ground Combat Vehicles". "And we are working closely with India and our worldwide partners to secure India's membership in the NSG", Juster said while adding the USA, at the same time, has gone from a restrictive policy regarding the export of dual-use items to India to a much more liberal one.

"A number of USA companies have reported increasing difficulties conducting business in the largest market in the region - China", Juster added, "India can seize the strategic opportunity - through trade and investment - to become an alternative hub for US business in the Indo-Pacific region". "Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets". "In our view, fully free and fair trade will support and accelerate Prime Minister Modi's effort to improve India's long-term growth rate in a sustained way", he said, adding that Modi's determination to move India further up on the World Bank's ease of doing business index is inspiring. We welcome steps by India to continue its reform agenda, expand market access, and further enhance the protection of intellectual property.

Juster said shared values and "common interests" inform the vision of New Delhi and Washington for the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region, in which the U.S. considers India to be a "leading power".

"India is a leading power in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. We are a country of immigrants that has helped drive our economy, made us what we are and that is not going to change".

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After talking much about the amicable relationship with India, he vaguely gave his assurances to the under-threat Indians working and residing in the United States on temporary visas. He in fact suggested taking Indo-US military cooperation to an entirely new level: "reciprocally posting liaison officers at each other's operational/combat commands". "And that's not going to change", he said.

Pivoting to science and technology, Juster called them the fourth pillar of the relationship and noted collaborations between ISRO and NASA as well as the joint strides in medical innovation.

He also echoed President 's belief that India play a bigger role in Afghanistan, even as he stressed that the situation would not improve till "Pakistan does not contribute positively". "But if they engage in predatory economic policy and other things, there would be reactions".

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