Bush says Americans should welcome competition from India | VailDaily.com

Bush says Americans should welcome competition from India

NEW DELHI – Applauding newly warming U.S.-India relations, President Bush said Friday Americans should not respond to this nation’s exploding economy by closing itself off to global trade.”The United States will not give into the protectionists and lose these opportunities,” Bush said in a speech at Purana Qila, a historic fort here. “For the sake of workers in both our countries, America will trade with confidence.”Bush wrapped up his three-day stay in India with a landmark nuclear deal that is the centerpiece of America’s new romance with this 1 billion-strong democracy, the world’s largest. Later Friday, he was heading to Pakistan for an overnight visit under extraordinary security to a close anti-terror partner struggling with terrorism problems.Bush said his nation and India will stand together against terrorists.”They target democracies because they think we are weak and they think we can be frightened and retreat,” Bush said. “Terrorists have misunderstood our countries. Americans and Indians love our freedom and we will fight to keep it.”An estimated 80 percent of Indians live on less than $2 a day.Yet India’s middle class has swelled to more than 300 million, a number larger than the entire U.S. population, and India’s exploding economy has created millions of jobs. The country’s outsourcing industry alone is expected to bring in $22 billion in revenue this fiscal year, much of that generated by U.S. companies.The president said the United States should see this rapidly growing nation as a land of opportunity instead of a threat. America’s best response to globalization is not to erect economic barriers to protect workers, but educate them to make sure they can compete on any stage, Bush said.”In my country, some focus only on one aspect of our trade relations with India – outsourcing,” he said.But he also urged India to lift caps on foreign investment, lower tariffs that penalize American agricultural markets and protect its workers and children from abuses.”India has responsibilities too,” he said.As the president headed to Pakistan, Bush aides said officials were satisfied adequate security precautions were in place. National security adviser Stephen Hadley acknowledged, though, that “this is not a risk-free undertaking.”Bush has promised to raise with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf the need to do more to hunt down al-Qaida members. Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding along the porous and mountainous border with Afghanistan. And just a day before Bush arrived, a suicide car bomber killed an American diplomat and three others in a strike near the U.S. consulate in the southern port city of Karachi, a hotbed of Islamic militancy hundreds of miles from Islamabad, where the president was staying.He also will talk about the need for additional democratic reforms.But a public show of solidarity for the Pakistani leader, who has survived repeated assassination attempts in part because of his support for the U.S. war on terror, was taking center stage.”I will meet with President Musharraf to discuss Pakistan’s vital cooperation in the war on terror and our efforts to foster economic and political development so that we can reduce the appeal of radical Islam,” Bush said. “I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world.”Bush told several hundred people from a brightly lit stage that he’s been “dazzled” by India.”Our two great democracies are now united by opportunities that can lift our people and by threats than can bring down all our progress,” he said. “The United States and India, separated by half the globe, are closer than ever before, and the partnership between our free nations has the power to transform the world.”

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