Secretary Burns Talks Nuclear Deal, LeT Threat and 50,000 US Jobs

Must read

Washington, DC – With the Obama Administration’s rebalance toward Asia, there may be no more important partner for the US than India, as both countries aim to counter common threats and build upon their shared values, according to participants, including US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, at a recent event at the Center for American Progress.

Secretary Burns, one of the foremost advocates for strengthening the US–India partnership, reiterated faith in the bilateral civil nuclear initiative, saying, “Without diminishing the real and frustrating challenges we have faced, both governments are now engaged in realizing practical benefits of the civil nuclear agreement, especially reliable electricity for India’s homes and businesses.”

Burns argued that American companies are making good headway in negotiating with their Indian counterparts in order to complete agreements by the end of this year.

Citing the steps taken by Westinghouse and India’s Nuclear Power Corporation in June to establish Westinghouse nuclear reactors in Gujarat, Burns hoped General Electric could follow suit.

Burns told a select audience of journalists, academics and members of think tanks that the, “Indian government has clearly indicated that nuclear energy will remain an important part of India’s energy equation and we are equally committed to expanding cooperation in other areas, from wind and solar energy to natural gas and biofuels”.

On the subject of counterterrorism, Burns minced no words in identifying  Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as an organization that is equally dangerous to both the US and India, while threatening the future of Pakistan where it is “harbored.”

“We’ve continued to try to do everything we can to drive home the point that those kind of violent extremist groups harbored in Pakistan are as big a threat to Pakistan’s future and its stability as to anyone else,” Burns said while responding to a question after delivering his remarks on ‘The United States and India: A Vital Relationship in a Changing World’ at the Center for American Progress.

Highlighting the role Indian companies are playing through their investments, Burns said they have created more than 50,000 jobs in the US.

“Both of us are focused on attracting growth and investment to our shores. The Indian owned Tata factory in Ohio puts thousands of Americans to work, part of the over 50,000 jobs Indian firms have created in the US. Opportunities for small, medium and large American businesses in India are staggering,” Burns noted.

Praising Delhi’s recent economic reforms and their opening of Indian markets for foreign investments, Burns said, “Of course, for our companies to provide the technology and expertise to help India prosper, India’s government must create an environment that encourages growth.”

“We are aiming for a high quality agreement that expands on recent reforms to provide still greater openness to investment, strong rules to protect investors and guarantee transparency, and effective means for resolving disputes should they arise,” he added.

More articles

Latest article