By Arun Kumar
Washington, Feb 25 (IANS) Asserting that President Barack Obama was committed to boosting India-US trade ties, the US has suggested that they work together in a way that benefits the economies and job creation in both countries.
“There is an opportunity for us to try to advance the interests of both our countries by working together and by coordinating our efforts,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday.
He was responding to a question about follow up action taken since President Obama’s historic visit to India last month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to US companies last September to “Make in India”.
“The president is certainly committed to that, again, in part, because the substantial economic benefits that could be enjoyed by the American people,” Earnest said. “And that ultimately is his goal.”
“I know that Prime Minister Modi has a similar interest,” he said.
Earnest said he did not “know of any recent conversations that Obama and Modi have had, but that continues to be a priority of both the president and his administration”.
Obama, he said, “often discusses his view that we need to have more products that are stamped with Made in America and that that would be good for the US economy. It would be good for job creation”.
“The president also does believe that, as Indian consumers have the opportunity to buy American goods, that it could be good for the Indian economy, as well,” he said.
Earnest recalled that Obama and Modi “spent a lot of time talking about some of these economic issues” and “our trade relationship with India” during his New Delhi visit.
He noted that “there was a CEO summit in the context of those meetings, and that there were American and Indian business leaders that spent some time talking through some of these issues”.
Obama “himself had the opportunity to sit down at a roundtable with a couple dozen of them and talk about some of the challenges that they face as they try to do more business together in a way that benefits the economies and job creation in both countries”.
In response to another question, Earnest reiterated Obama’s support for India’s membership of the UN Security Council in the context of UN reforms.
“As it relates to India’s membership on the Security Council, I know the president endorsed them acceding to the Security Council in the context of a variety of other important reforms to the operations of the United Nations,” he said.
However, he did not have an update “on the status of those ongoing reforms, or at least efforts to try to bring about some of those reforms”.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)