U.S. ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Thursday said the United States would not tolerate any cross-border terrorism or safe havens, adding- -in response to a question - that security assistance had been suspended by the USA to Pakistan because they (Pakistan) were not doing all that they could in eliminating terror sanctuaries. He said that President Trump's poll slogan "America First" and PM Modi's flagship initiative "Make in India" are not incompatible. "It will increase our economic interactions and volume of trade, lead to collaboration on emerging technologies, and create jobs in both countries", he said. Juster said the USA sees India as a major power in "the Indo-Pacific and beyond".
In his first public speech after taking over as the ambassador in November, Juster talked about robust India-US partnership in key areas of defence and counter-terrorism and pitched for enhanced trade ties while describing India as a "net provider" of security in the India-Pacific region. "Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets". Noting that while bilateral trade has increased manifold over the years, Juster said that there is still plenty of room to grow. "Of course, given the size of our respective markets, there is still a plenty of room to expand the flow of goods and services in both directions and, in the process, for trade to become more reciprocal", he said. He pointed out that in little more than a decade, the United States defence trade with India has expanded from virtually nothing to over 15 billion dollars, and includes sales of some of America's most advanced military equipment. "We are working with partners to secure India's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership", he said.
Going a step further, Juster said, "it is time to put a strategic lens on our economic relationship - just as we have done with our defense relationship". The US envoy in particular emphasised on India's role in Indo-Pacific region and opportunities in economic partnership.
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Praising India for its development assistance to Afghanistan, Mr Juster said, "Pakistan is also important to the situation in Afghanistan". We are a country of immigrants and that has helped drive our economy, made us what we are.
Juster hinted that India can become an alternative hub for USA business in Indo-Pacific region.
On the issue of H-1B visas issued to Indian IT professionals working in the US, Juster said that the US administration and the US Congress undertook periodic reviews of its immigration policies.
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"I don't think we are going to get stability and security in Afghanistan if Pakistan does not contribute positively to that".
"We want to have a constructive relationship with the Chinese as well. But if they engage in predatory economic policy and other things, there would be reactions".
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