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India very high on Obama’s list of US investments abroad

Washington, July 30 (IANS) India is very high on the US list for investments in foreign countries as economic growth across the world remains a priority for President Barack Obama, according to the White House.

“In terms of the US-India partnership, …the president is very enthusiastic about the prospect of increased collaboration, increased economic growth for American companies, and investments in India,” press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters Wednesday.

“I think you heard that from his recent trip there a few months ago,” he said when asked if Vice President Joe Biden was carrying a message from Obama at a recent conference where it was revealed that Indian companies had invested $15 billion in the US and created over 100,000 jobs in the US.

“But just because he is not over there right now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have key members of our team working on this,” Schultz said.

“So economic growth across the country remains — across the world, remains a priority for this president and oftentimes that manifests itself in investments in foreign countries,” he said. “And India is very high on that list.”

Asked how the US Export-Import Bank is playing a role in US-India trade relations, Schultz said he didn’t “have specifics on how any specific loans or support structures that Ex-Im has offered American companies, specifically for business in India”.

“I think generally speaking, the reason that Republicans and Democrats support Ex-Im Bank is because it is an engine of economic growth and American jobs for American companies here at home,” he said.

Schultz comments on the Export-Import Bank came after the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed a highway funding bill without a measure to reauthorise the US’s export credit agency.

Conservatives in the House have opposed the move to renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter expiring on July 31, calling it a symbol of corporate welfare.

Ex-Im, which is supported by the US Chamber of Commerce and major corporations such as Boeing and General Electric, provided $27.4 billion in financing to support US exports in fiscal year 2014, according to the credit agency.