OBAMA visite l’Inde pour bloquer la Chine

Obama Visits India With Focus on stopping China Economy

November 06, 2010, 1:21 AM 


Nov. 6 2010.

President Barack Obama’s mission overseas in his first two years in office was improving the U.S. image abroad. His next round of travel is focused on repairing the U.S. economy and his relationship with businesses at home.

During a 10-day, four-nation trip, Obama is peppering his schedule with events linked to expanding U.S. exports. On his first day in India, the president will today address the U.S.- India Business Council in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, and huddle with a group of chief executive officers including Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric Co. and Jim McNerney of Boeing Co. to help push along multibillion-dollar deals for U.S. companies.

“The primary purpose is to take a bunch of U.S. companies and open up markets so that we can sell in Asia, in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world,” Obama said Nov. 4 after meeting with his Cabinet at the White House. In an opinion piece published yesterday in the New York Times, he said companies will announce contracts worth “billions of dollars” in India.

While planned long in advance around scheduled meetings of the Group of 20 nations in South Korea and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Japan, Obama’s trip begins four days after U.S. voters in midterm elections turned control of the House of Representatives over to Republicans and narrowed the Democratic Party’s Senate majority. Obama described his party’s losses as a “shellacking.”

New Focus

The sluggish U.S. economy, a national jobless rate that has been at or above 9.5 percent for 14 consecutive months and a federal budget deficit forecast by the administration to hit $1.4 trillion this year were top issues in the campaign.

Obama’s previous overseas trips focused on his vision for U.S. relations with the world, said Heather Conley, director of Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“Post midterm election, it’s the balancing act of addressing the domestic urgency at home and jobs and being responsive to a very fast-paced international scene,” she said.

Obama said he wants to “show the connection between what we’re doing overseas and what happens here at home when it comes to job growth and economic growth.”

The Indian government is helping the president make his case. “Our investment is creating, saving or supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the United States,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters in New Delhi Nov. 4.

Longest Stay

Obama’s three-day stay in India will be his longest in a foreign country as president. Asia’s third-biggest economy, India offers a rapidly growing market for U.S. companies, including Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-plant turbines and locomotives.

GE last month won India’s biggest single order for gas and steam turbines, a deal the company valued at more than $750 million, and is seeking nuclear plant contracts there.

Chicago-based Boeing expects to bid for $31 billion worth of military contracts in the next 10 years as it competes with Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp. and other suppliers for orders following a tripling of India’s defense budget.

India is the U.S.’s 12th-largest trading partner and commerce between the two countries more than doubled to $37 billion in 2009 compared with 2003, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. In the first eight months of 2010, total trade topped $32 billion.

High Priority

Obama has given closer relations with India a high priority, as illustrated by his hosting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first state visit of his presidency.

Indian officials are looking for the Obama administration to loosen restrictions on trade in high-technology goods, especially those that may have both military and commercial uses, and help in battling extremists, said S. Chandrasekaran, director of the South Asia Analysis Group, a policy-research organization in India.

“It has to be two-way,” Chandrasekaran said. “India is looking for access to dual-technology and better cooperation in counterterrorism, while the U.S. wants business access in India.”

While Obama’s stay in India is likely to yield “a few workman-like agreements,” there is “going to be no big bang” to boost the slowly growing economic and strategic partnership, Sumit Ganguly, an Indian-American political science professor at Indiana University, said in a phone interview in New Delhi.

Memorial Service

“Unless both governments suddenly pull some rabbits out of their hats, the results will not be as dramatic as they’d hoped,” he said.

Obama begins his trip with a memorial service today for the victims of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. He’ll stay in the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, the scene of dozens of deaths. Tomorrow he’s scheduled to leave for New Delhi, the capital, where he will hold talks with Singh. Obama will address India’s Parliament Nov. 8.

The president will also find some time for cultural excursions. He will visit a former Mumbai residence of the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, and the New Delhi tomb of a 16th century Mughal emperor, Humayun.

After India, he will squeeze in a twice-delayed trip to Indonesia, where he lived as a boy, before heading to the G-20 summit in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and the APEC meeting in Yokohama, Japan. That portion of the trip also is focused on U.S. economic concerns.

‘New Markets’

“We need to find new customers in new markets for American-made goods,” Obama wrote in the New York Times. “Our government, together with American businesses and workers, must take steps to promote and sell our goods and services abroad — particularly in Asia.”

“Obama in his international globetrotting now has to show that he is creating benefits for American business,” said Steven Clemons, an analyst at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based policy research group. “He is shifting from a kinder, gentler, less unilateral stance in terms of foreign policy to one where he needs to show bottom-line benefits from American engagement abroad.”

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