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U.S. Chamber Hails Passage of U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 8:00pm

Partnership Will Create Opportunities for American Workers and Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commended Congress for passing the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement today, a major step toward cementing a strategic partnership between the world's two largest democracies.

"This historic accord opens a new era in U.S.-India relations," said the U.S. Chamber's President and CEO Tom Donohue. "It will help combat nuclear proliferation, provide the Indian economy with clean energy, and create new opportunities for American workers and businesses in one of the world's fasting growing economies."

The United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act (H.R. 7081) allows the United States to share civilian nuclear technology with India. In return, India has agreed to separate its civilian and strategic nuclear facilities and put its civilian facilities under international inspection. Two international nuclear watchdog agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), unanimously approved measures resolving sensitive issues relating to India's nuclear status.

"For three years, the U.S. Chamber and our affiliate, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), spearheaded a lobbying, grassroots, and education campaign to build support for the agreement," Donohue said. "The coalition is comprised of American businesses, security experts, associations, think-tanks, and Indian Americans supporting a stronger strategic partnership with India."

India plans to invest $150 billion in its nuclear energy sector by 2030, and the USIBC estimates that a modest share of that business could support 250,000 high-tech American jobs. Moreover, the agreement is being hailed in India as a strengthening of ties with the United States that will create opportunities for U.S. companies in many sectors of the Indian economy.

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.