Indo-US ties are likely to be further strengthened under the incoming Trump administration, the head of an American business advocacy group representing companies having presence in India has said and expressed hope that rhetoric against H-1B visas will also die down and sanity would prevail.
"Our expectation is that the India US relationship would get much more enhanced," Mukesh Aghi, the president of the US India Business Council (USIBC) told PTI.
Observing that "alignment of interest" between the two largest democracies of the world is "not tied to individuals, but to nations", Aghi said the relationship "probably would pick up a momentum" with this Administration.
A day after Donald Trump was elected as the president of the United States, Aghi on behalf of USIBC wrote a letter to the president-elect to invite the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US in the first year of his administration.
"Now president-elect is little bit obliged, because Indian Americans were the only minority group which stood up for Donald Trump. So I think, he feels some sense of affinity (with India and Indian Americans). So I believe that you will see things moving strongly in the right direction," he said in response to a question.
Addressing a gathering of Indian Americans in New Jersey in late October, Trump had promised a better economic ties and strategic relationship with India, he pointed out.
USIBC and its members, he said, is "constantly in touch" with the transition team.
"The feedback is positive. The feedback is tell us what it is we need to put in policy structure to drive this relationship. That process continues daily between USIBC, its members and its transition team," he said.
Responding to a question on future prospects of H-1B visas, which is the most sought after work visas by Indian techies, the USIBC president said as some of its opponents including Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated for the post of Attorney General, they have to look at "bigger" perspective.
"These are Republicans. They are business oriented. H-1B is not about job displacement. That was election rhetoric. H-1B is about making US industry, US companies more competitive...So I think, we have to take away that noise that H-1B is killing jobs in the United States," he said.
"You have to look at other side of this as well. It is because of H-1B, India is able to get large foreign exchange. And in return, India has become the number one buyer of US defence equipment. So, this is not just one sided story. You have to understand that if you kill H-1B there is an impact on defense side of the relationship as well," he said.
As a result, Aghi hoped that "the rhetoric would die down" and sanity would prevail.
Trump, while outlining his policy plans for the first 100 days in office, had said that he would investigate abuses of work visa programmes.
In its wish-list submitted to the president-elect, the USIBC said that it believes that pro-growth policies can expand commercial partnerships from USD100 billion to USD500 billion in the coming years.
USIBC said inviting Modi in the first year of his administration would send a clear signal about the importance of the bilateral relationship.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)