Indian Americans descend on Capitol Hill to reignite discussion
June 9, 2015: US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) hosted a "CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING ON US-INDIA NUCLEAR TRADE" on June 4, at Washington, DC. to discuss opportunities and challenges in commencing US-India Nuclear Trade. The briefing was a landmark event with speakers including US Congressional Leadership, nuclear industry experts, think tank personnel, and leaders of the Indian American community. It was attended by a standing room audience of congressional staffers and executives of leading energy companies.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce, kicked off the conference by saying.“As we continue to work through the nuclear deal, I am sure we will find a way to continue to engage and move forward on this issue of civilian nuclear cooperation. It is important because the needs of India for uninterrupted and affordable power are great. Nuclear power will provide this in India". On the Indian end, Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu remarked "I am happy to report breakthroughs in the last few months on the bilateral US-India civilian nuclear 123 agreement. There is robust exchange between our nuclear establishments. Nuclear energy is highly relevant to India's energy security."
The keynote speaker, Dr Udit Raj, Member of Parliament in the ruling BJP Government, said in his address, “The Indo-US relationship is not only important for these two countries but for the whole world. The way the countries are moving together forward will change the scenario of the world". Expressing that the Indian law on nuclear liability favored state owned nuclear enterprises such as Russia's, Congressman Brad Sherman commented "I know that we will get this straightened out. I want the US nuclear industry to play a prominent role in India's development". Congressman Mike Honda thanked USINPAC for bringing so many subject leaders together to help everyone learn more about the deal.
Many leaders of the Indian American community had actively supported USINPAC in garnering support from lawmakers for the historic passage of the 2006 Hyde Act and facilitating congressional approval of the US-India 123 Agreement in 2008 that set the stage for US-India cooperation in civilian nuclear energy trade. These leaders from all over the US descended on Capitol Hill to show their complete support for US-India nuclear trade and one of them, Mr. Manish Antani from Los Angeles, commented "It is heartening to see strong political will from the Indian and US government leaders in operationalizing the US-India nuclear trade agreement and I laud USINPAC for actively facilitating this process.
Sanjay Puri, USINPAC Chairman, remarked, “We are optimistic that USINPAC's efforts and the Indian American community's hard work will materialize into commercial nuclear trade between US and India. It is a win-win situation”. As a next step, USINPAC will engage with the US and Indian governments and the US Nuclear Infrastructure Council comprising more than 65 US nuclear companies to address the remaining challenges in commencing bilateral nuclear trade.
The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. It supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian- American community. Visit www.usinpac.com for more details.