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United States-India Civil Nuclear Deal

Location: Washington, DC

UNITED STATES-INDIA CIVIL NUCLEAR DEAL -- (House of Representatives - September 24, 2008)

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, this evening I rise to encourage my fellow Members of Congress to support the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Deal. Recently the 45 nations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group waived the ban on nuclear trade with India. This paved the way for Congress to act swiftly to pass the U.S.-Indian Civil Nuclear Deal into law. This agreement will reduce pressure on energy markets, benefits both nations' economies and strengthens the U.S.-India strategic global partnership.

It will bring positive benefits to both the United States and India. It will permit both countries to engage in shared civil nuclear research and development and commercial trade of technology and fuel while guaranteeing safeguards on all civil nuclear material.

Mr. Speaker, completion of this agreement will represent an important milestone in accelerating commercial and cultural ties between the American people and the people of India. But obstacles remain. We must work with the administration to ensure the agreement comes up for a final vote this year, before Congress adjourns. The United States has a significant strategic partnership with India. This civilian nuclear cooperation agreement is a critical component to building on that successful partnership.

The agreement strengthens energy security for the United States and India. By diversifying the energy markets and creating greater energy supply, the civil nuclear agreement promotes the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India. Expansion of U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation should, over time, lessen India's dependence on imported hydrocarbons, including those from Iran.

The nuclear agreement will also bolster both nations' economies. For the United States, the agreement opens up a major new market for technology exports and investment that is currently off limits. And it brings India into the global nuclear nonproliferation regime as a fully invested partner. India is committed to preventing proliferation from its civilian nuclear program and protecting against diversion of nuclear materials and technologies.

Finally, the civil nuclear agreement will provide the foundation of a promising U.S.-India alliance that will serve as a defense against terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The U.S. has an important stake in ensuring regional stability in South Asia, even as Pakistan continues to produce and test nuclear weapons without proper safeguards.

With uncertainty in Pakistan and the continuing influence of al Qaeda on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border, it is essential that India remain our strategic ally.

Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, I formed the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in order to work for a stronger bilateral relationship between the United States and India. Today the world's two largest democracies have established a remarkable strategic partnership that can only be strengthened by civil nuclear cooperation.

Mr. Speaker, we should all do everything we can to see that the U.S. civil nuclear agreement receives final approval in Washington so that the world can begin to benefit from its implementation and we can embark on a new era of U.S.-India relations.

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