Committed to work for India's NSG tag: USA envoy

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Outlining US President Donald Trump's agenda for India, Jester said the US is also working "very closely" with global partners to secure India's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, even as he hoped that New Delhi would join the Australia Group on chemical and biological weapons in the "very near future".

Speaking about the defence relationship between the two countries, Juster said that the U.S. wants to work towards the long-term security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

In a speech on India-US relations in New Delhi, Juster also said that the "America First" initiative of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" programme were not at variance with each other. Noting that while bilateral trade has increased manifold over the years, Juster said that there is still plenty of room to grow.

"We are concerned about persistent trade deficits, including the one we have with India". He was speaking at an event on the subject "India-US Relations: Building a Durable Partnership for the 21st century". "And we are working closely with India and our global partners to secure India?s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group", he said.

"We welcome steps by India to continue its reform agenda, expand market access, and further enhance the protection of intellectual property. And we want to work with India to expeditiously resolve trade and investment disputes".

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The new U.S. ambassador during his first policy speech added that investing in each other's markets will be mutually beneficial for both the countries. "We are working with partners to secure India's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership", Juster said describing India as a "leading power" in the Indo-Pacific region.

He said, "A number of United States companies have reported increasing difficulties in conducting business in the largest market in the region, China". Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets. "India can seize this strategic opportunity through trade & investment to become an alternative hub for United States business in Indo-Pacific region". "India can become an alternative hub for USA business in the Indo-Pacific region". "This would complement our growing defence and counter-terrorism partnership, and moderate any policy differences that might arise along the way", Juster said. He also expected major defence deals by 2019.

"The US is probably as open a country as any in the world and we probably take more immigrants per year than any other country in the world ..."

He also echoed President 's belief that India play a bigger role in Afghanistan, even as he stressed that the situation would not improve till "Pakistan does not contribute positively".

However, the USA on Tuesday made its stand clear that the aid to Pakistan has only been suspended not cut-off, as it wanted the country to take an aggressive approach in eliminating terrorism. He said that there are multiple ways to attain this, including military exercises, sale of military hardware and technology, military exchanges, and sharing of information on terrorism networks.

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