US Reaffirms Commitment to Secure India's NSG Membership

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"India can seize the strategic opportunity - through trade and investment - to become an alternative hub for US business in the Indo-Pacific region", he told an audience in New Delhi.

He also said "America First and Make in India" were "not incompatible" and that both can "create jobs" in both countries.

Juster acknowledged that the USA and India initially had "strained" exchanges on topics related to the transfer of sensitive U.S. technology with both military and conventional applications.

India can seize the opportunity to provide "alternative investment hub" for the American companies which are downgrading their operations in China, US Ambassador Kenneth Juster said on Thursday while he pitched for bilateral FTA as the next big-ticket item. "I don't think we are going to get stability and security in Afghanistan if Pakistan does not contribute positively to that", Mr. He said, "On of the areas of collaboration (between Indian and US) is Afghanistan, where we both have a strong interest in promoting peace, security and prosperity". After membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement and MTCR, Juster said, India would "very soon" become a member of the Australia Group.

He said Mr. Trump's recent decision to suspend security aid to Pakistan came because Islamabad "has not done all it can to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan that are contributing to unrest in Afghanistan".

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Since it doesn't have a state income tax, sales taxes are that much more important to the state budget. The issue of internet sales taxes has vexed lawmakers for almost two decades.

The US government is planning a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India in an effort to boost two-way trade that now stands at $115 billion.

He talked about a roadmap for a US-India Free Trade Agreement, but said that many intermediate steps were needed to reach the goal. "This would complement our growing defence and counter-terrorism partnership, and moderate any policy differences that might arise along the way", Juster said. China wants that in case the NPT clause is waived off for India then Pakistan should also be allowed to be a member of the NSG. "We are working with partners to secure India's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership", he said.

"We seek to assist India's efforts to build up its indigenous defence base and capabilities, as well as enhance the inter-operability of our two forces as major defence partners in the Indo-Pacific region", he said. "The longstanding commitment of the United States to a free, secure, and open Indo-Pacific has underpinned the stability and remarkable economic rise of this region - to the benefit of all of us". He said, "A number of U.S. companies have reported increasing difficulties in conducting business in the largest market in the region, China". Juster replied, saying that the Trump administration would not tolerate "safe havens for terrorists anywhere" or "cross-border terrorism".

The ambassador added that the United States is a country of immigrants, with 4 million Indian Americans and that has been one of the driving factors of the economy and helped in the country's growth.

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