From the Council on Foreign Relations’ excellent Daily News Briefing last Friday:
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India … is expected to focus on producing jobs for the U.S. economy (WSJ) by clinching big commercial deals for U.S. companies and promoting greater access to Indian markets. The trip, which comes shortly after U.S. congressional midterm elections, may be more politically palatable than focusing on thornier geopolitical issues like India’s unease about Afghanistan and Pakistan. Amid U.S. concerns about outsourcing jobs to India, the White House hopes to stress the benefits of the two country’s growing trade partnership. More than two hundred chief executives and corporate officials will travel to Mumbai for a business summit next Saturday (EconomicTimes), the largest contingent of U.S. chief executives to accompany a president on a state visit. The total number of deals resulting from Obama’s trip could help create or sustain one hundred thousand U.S. jobs (FT), according to the U.S. India Business Council. But the United States will be challenged to strike an investment treaty with India amid U.S. corporate concerns about intellectual property abuses. India’s leftist parties said they will hold a nationwide protest (EconomicTimes) during Obama’s visit, opposing U.S. pressure on India to open its agriculture, retail trade, education, and other services to U.S. investment and multinational firms.
Energy development is a major topic on the agenda, including nuclear power and shale gas. The U.S.-India Business Council’s news release, “India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit to Feature President Obama,” has more information about the U.S. business leaders heading to Mumbia. More coverage from Indian news sources:
- Times of India, Nov. 1, “Obama’s Midterm Test“
- The Business Standard, Nov. 1, “US Democrats blaming Indian business money“
- The Hindu, Oct. 31, “Taking economic ties with U.S. to higher levels“
And there’s this from the Center for a New American Security, a think tank, “CNAS Releases Blueprint for the Future of U.S.-India Relations“:
Washington, D.C., October 18, 2010 – In advance of President Obama’s much-awaited trip to India in less than 3 weeks, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released today Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of U.S.-India Relations, authored by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns and CNAS Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine.
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