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US Inc hails approval of nuke bill
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December 09, 2006 20:29 IST

The US-India Business Council on Saturday applauded the House of Representatives approval 330-59 in favour of civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

According to Ron Somers, USIBC president, the premier industry advocacy group for companies with business interests in India, "This legislation marks the most significant foreign policy advancement in the history of our two democracies. Saturday's result will engender an atmosphere of mutual respect, goodwill and trust that will yield a bounty of opportunity for both our countries. High technology cooperation permitted by this legislation will transform the economic and geopolitical destiny of the 21st Century."

"When you consider India's wealth of human resources, its educational institutions, and its youthful demographic, history will rank this initiative as a tectonic shift equivalent to Nixon's opening to China. This is one of those defining moments when two of the world's most powerful and open economies will now accelerate convergence, triggering the alignment of two great democracies for the 21st Century," Somers added.

"The people of India and the United States, together with the leadership that forged this result, deserve all credit and congratulations," USIBC's president stated.

"The overwhelmingly positive vote reflected a confluence of powerful forces: a focused Administration, supported by political vision coming from both sides of the political aisle; India's own effective advocacy efforts, which accurately depicted India's rising global stature; and, strong support provided by a committed US industry, joined for the first time by a unified Indian American community. US national security and policy experts also played a crucial role. This collaboration of activism proved a persuasive voice in support of a deeper strategic partnership between the United States and India," Somers said.

After a roller coaster legislative process that witnessed a 359-68 vote in favor by the House of Representatives in July, followed by a favorable vote by the Senate of 85-12 coming only 10 days after the raucous mid-term elections, the US House vote in Saturday proved a winner as the 109th Session of the US Congress headed for adjournment.

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