India is a perfect partner and great place for the US to figure out how to grow the economies of the two countries and get win-win solutions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said as he pushed for the further liberalisation of the Indian economy.
The Trump administration is trying to take down financial barriers and non-tariff barriers, and create open markets consistent with the central ideas that they hold here in the United States, he said.
“But we remain open to dialogue and hope our Indian friends will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their exporters and private-sector companies,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo will travel to India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea from June 24 to 30.
The US will also push for the free flow of data across borders — not just to help American companies — but to protect data and ensure consumer privacy, he said.
“I think that makes India a perfect partner and a great place for us to figure out how to grow our economies and get win-win solutions for both nations,” Pompeo said in his keynote address to the India Ideas Summit of the US India Business Council (USIBC) on Wednesday.
“That is, when you invest, your return on investment often extends beyond any particular Congress or any particular administration,” the top American diplomat said.
If the US government can lay the foundation, Pompeo said, the businesses will take risk, invest capital here and in India, and will grow both sides of the relationship.
“India, by purchasing oil and gas from the US, can have a fully diversified energy portfolio where it doesn’t have to rely on nations that aren’t as reliable as the United States and have good outcomes, outcomes that their business leaders can count on, and frankly that Americans thinking about investing in India can count on as well,” he said.
“Countries that have partnered with us and chosen to invest alongside us and opened their markets and prepared to allow American businesses to invest on the same terms in their country that their country has permitted to invest here, and that we get fair and reciprocal trade, they’ve seen America open up to them, and seen the real opportunity,” he said.
America’s energy sector, Pompeo said, provides a real opportunity for American businesses and for global growth as well.
“We’ve been blessed with abundant affordable energy right here in the United States, and we’re now out producing it at enormous levels, not just crude oil but natural gas as well.
“On our side we’ve got to make sure that we build out the infrastructure that’s necessary, so that we have the infrastructure so that we can deliver it and provide these opportunities,” he said.
“And then the State Department’s role is to make sure that we’re out talking about that, sharing with other countries that we can be a reliable partner for their energy,” Pompeo added.
Ahead of his visit to India, the US Secretary of State also revealed that he had a “tough” time as a businessman in Chennai and Bengaluru while trying to sell machine parts for the aerospace industry in the country.
Pompeo said this during his address to a Washington audience that included Google’s Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai and top corporate executives from India and the US at the India Ideas Summit on Wednesday.