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Chamber Hails Agreement on U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Initiative

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) applauded an agreement reached today under which India would segregate its civilian nuclear facilities from its strategic facilities and open them to international inspection. In return, India would obtain the right to receive civilian nuclear technology from the United States.

"This historic agreement is a key step in achieving a deeper strategic partnership with India that will enhance global stability and create tremendous new trading opportunities," said Lt. Gen. Dan Christman (Ret.), the Chamber's senior vice president of international affairs. "This partnership will benefit both countries by strengthening non-proliferation, meeting India's energy security needs, and promoting a cleaner environment using reliable and safe nuclear power."

The agreement also requires India to continue its moratorium on nuclear testing and to enhance export controls on nuclear sensitive materials and technology.

In addition to the civilian nuclear initiative, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh pledged during a meeting in July to pursue a number of joint U.S.-India efforts affecting the economy, energy, economic development, and technology.

"President Bush's trip to India is akin to Nixon's opening of China," said Christman. "This critical milestone in nuclear cooperation marks a momentous step in the historic alignment of the world's two great democracies for the 21st century."

To win U.S. congressional approval of the agreement, the Chamber has formed the Coalition for Partnership with India to marshal a broad public advocacy campaign in support of the agreement.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. The USIBC represents the largest U.S. investors and traders with India.

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