Bush defends outsourcing to India

By agencies   |   Thursday, 23 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: Congratulating India over its economic progress, President George W. Bush today asked India to liberalize more and lift caps on foreign investment.

Ruling out any protectionist measures to check the adverse effect of outsourcing, he said the expansion of India's economy would mean ‘greater stability’ for the South Asian region besides bigger market for America's businesses, workers and farmers.

"The area of America's relationship with India that seems to receive the most attention is outsourcing," Bush said addressing the Asian community here.

"It is true that a number of Americans have lost jobs because companies have shifted operations to India," he said, adding losing a job is "traumatic" and "difficult" as it puts strain on "our families."

"But rather than respond with protectionist policies, I believe it makes sense to respond with educational policies to make sure that our workers are skilled for the jobs of the 21st century," he said.

Bush said it must be recognized that India's growth was creating new opportunities for American businesses, farmers and workers.

He said India "needs to continue to lift its caps on foreign investment, to make its rules and regulations more transparent and to continue to lower its tariffs and open its markets to American agricultural products, industrial goods and services."

The U.S., Bush said, would continue to work for agreements on these economic and regulatory reforms "to ensure that Americans' goods and services are treated fairly".

"If the rules are fair, I believe our companies and our farmers and our entrepreneurs can compete with anybody, any time, anywhere," he said. Observing that India was an "important market" for American products, Bush said, "India is also important as a partner in opening up world markets."

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