He said in the article that India is not only the world's third-largest economy but is also a stabilising force in a region known to be a "tough neighbourhood". Somers said the US exports to India have grown 491 per cent in value since 2000 and bilateral trade now exceeds $100 billion, up from $ 25 billion when the then President George W Bush visited India in 2006.
"Bilateral investment and commercial ties are growing at double-digit rates. Ten of the top 15 IT companies operating in India are American," he wrote. Noting that strategically India is a stabilising force in a region known to be a "tough neighbourhood" surrounded by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar and China, Somers said the growing strategic partnership between India and the US encompasses cooperation in cyber security, higher education, clean energy, health care, environment, scientific research, space, and many other areas of mutual interest and concern. Somers noted that the Indian government had made progress in market access, the tax environment and legislation to enable more foreign direct investment but there is more to be done in these areas along with fostering an environment that attracts innovation. "In the U.S., the Senate passed an immigration bill that, if enacted into law, would seriously disrupt relationships between thousands of U.S.companies and their long-standing IT services partners, many of which are based in India," he said. "This would hurt U.S. businesses, discourage further investments in the U.S. and cost thousands of jobs for Americans," Somers said. (PTI)