A top American lobbying group which represents the strong manufacturing sector in the US has changed its anti-India stand stating the Narendra Modi-led government offers hope and optimism for Indo-US ties.
"Manufacturers in the US are optimistic that we have before us an important opportunity to put the US–India economic relationship back on track," Jay Timmons, president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers said.
Calling for a dialogue with India, he said, manufacturers throughout the US want to see a stronger and more robust Indian economy and to work with businesses in India on a range of issues, from growing innovation and skills to improving participation in global supply chains.
"By working together on trade, investment and other issues, we can grow both our economies in a fast-paced and globally connected world economy," he told a Washington audience.
"NAM stands ready to work together with the Indian government and the Indian business community to share its experiences and best practices, as well as work with the US Congress and trade representatives", he added.
"We also recognise we can learn from India. But for this partnership to succeed, India needs to be prepared to embrace this opportunity for constructive dialogue and develop a business climate that promotes competitiveness and innovation," Timmons said, adding that the coming weeks and months will be pivotal to India's path and the direction of our bilateral relationship.
NAM along with the US Chamber of Commerce last year had launched an Alliance for Fair Trade with India and was instrumental in more than 200 lawmakers including powerful Senators and Congressmen from both the parties , writing to the US President, against Indian trade policies.
It had gone to the extent of describing India as an "outlier in the international" community and as late as February, March this years had urged the US Trade Representatives to declare designate India a Priority Foreign Country, a status reserved for those nations that are the most egregious violators of IP rights and have the most negative impact on US competitiveness abroad.
However, yesterday NAM refuted allegations that its actions last year were anti-India.
"This (AITF) was not and is not an anti-India group," Linda Dempsey, co-chair of AITF and NAM vice president of international affairs, said.
"To the contrary, the NAM and our members created AFTI to push for the development of a stronger and more robust business and economic relationship