WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 2006--The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today applauded further progress by U.S. and Indian negotiators that would result in India agreeing to segregate its civilian nuclear facilities from its strategic facilities, a key step in achieving the broader goal of allowing the United States to share civilian nuclear technology with India.
"Obtaining a separation agreement is the next step in achieving the ultimate prize--a U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation agreement that will reduce the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation by opening India's civilian nuclear facilities to international inspection, cement and advance a strategic partnership between two of the world's greatest democracies, and provide significant business opportunities to American companies," said Lt. Gen. Dan Christman (Ret.), the Chamber's senior vice president of international affairs. "We know there is still work to be done, but the United States and India are making progress."
To win passage of that agreement, which requires congressional approval, the Chamber is hosting a Coalition for Partnership with India (CPI) to marshal a broad public advocacy campaign that will include action on Capitol Hill, a major education effort to raise awareness of the benefits of the agreement, and significant information programs outside Washington.
CPI will provide a forum for American businesses, academic institutions, associations, think-tanks, and like-minded individuals to support a deeper strategic partnership with India, including the sharing of civilian nuclear technology. The Chamber's United States-India Business Council, consisting of 160 of the largest U.S. companies investing in India, is a leading advocate of the Coalition. The Chamber's Christman serves as CPI's chairman.
"This agreement could provide the U.S. business community with $100 billion worth of new opportunities in India in the energy sector alone," said Christman. "Strengthening our strategic partnership with India will spur India's economic reform programs and open its markets to U.S. investment in key areas such as information technology, telecom, pharmaceuticals, defense trade, insurance, pensions, banking, real estate, and infrastructure."
Reducing India's reliance on oil and coal-fired power plants could help keep world oil prices lower and provide significant benefits to the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Chamber.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.