[Marxism] Obama going out with a bang

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 8 06:49:04 MDT 2016

WSJ, June 8 2016
U.S. Firm to Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India
Barack Obama and Narendra Modi reach deal, the first since countries 
signed civil nuclear agreement in 2008

WASHINGTON—The U.S. and India agreed to move ahead with the construction 
of six nuclear reactors in India by an American company, the first such 
move since the countries signed a landmark civil nuclear deal in 2008.

The breakthrough capped a wide-ranging White House meeting on Tuesday 
between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 
who are seeking closer cooperation as Washington wants to boost New 
Delhi’s role in counterbalancing China.

The meeting, which included lunch at the White House, will be followed 
on Wednesday by a speech by Mr. Modi to Congress, wrapping up the Indian 
leader’s fourth visit to the U.S. as part of an increasingly close 
relationship that has been sought by both governments.

The warming Indian relationship is backed by the lure of accelerating 
growth in that country, signs of improvement in the business climate, 
shared democratic values and some overlapping strategic goals.

By contrast, recent U.S. interactions with China, a far bigger Asian 
economy and U.S. trading partner whose growth appears to be slowing 
down, have been marked by strains and warnings over economic and 
security issues.

Under the new atomic-power agreement, Nuclear Power Corporation of India 
and Westinghouse Electric Co., a U.S. unit of Toshiba Corp., will begin 
engineering and site-design work for the reactors, though the final 
contract won’t be completed until June 2017, White House officials said. 
The deal marked a significant step in resolving obstacles to the sale of 
nuclear reactors and fuel to India.

“Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the 
leaders welcomed the start of preparatory work on-site in India for six 
AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse and noted the intention of 
India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank to work together toward a 
competitive financing package for the project,” the White House said in 
a statement.

“Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on Monday for 
a three-day state visit, his fourth such trip to the U.S. since he was 
elected in 2014. Photo: AP
The ability for U.S. companies to invest in nuclear-power plants in 
India has been a point of contention. At issue was a 2010 law passed in 
India that would make U.S. firms liable for accidents at power plants 
they help build.

“The leaders clearly understand that the parties are working diligently 
toward an agreement and they’re clearly supportive of an agreement in 
the near term,” said Courtney Boone, a spokeswoman for Westinghouse 
Electric in Cranberry Township, Pa. “Westinghouse wants to be able to 
provide the government of India clean, reliable energy for its people.”

The announcement follows earlier talks between Messrs. Obama and Modi. 
Both leaders said last year in New Delhi that they had begun to resolve 
issues that have prevented U.S. companies from investing in 
nuclear-power plants in India.

“We continue to discuss a wide range of areas where we can cooperate 
more effectively in order to promote jobs, promote investment, promote 
trade, and promote greater opportunities for our people, particularly 
young people, in both of our countries,” Mr. Obama said.

At Tuesday’s event with business leaders, Amazon.com Inc. Chief 
Executive Jeff Bezos said the company would invest an additional $3 
billion in India, on top of the $2 billion the company announced in 2014.

He said he hopes the two countries make additional progress before he 
and Mr. Obama meet again in September during the summit of the Group of 
20 leading nations.

Mr. Modi’s visit is a part of Mr. Obama’s effort to pivot U.S. foreign 
policy toward Asia.

Messrs. Obama and Modi also agreed Tuesday that the U.S. and India would 
ratify the international climate-change agreement reached in Paris in 
December. That step is expected “as soon as possible this year,” said 
Brian Deese, a senior White House adviser.

To demonstrate its commitment, India has begun a process domestically to 
achieve that goal, Mr. Deese said.

“It’s clear that there’s a closer tie developing between the U.S. and 
India,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday, a week after the senator 
visited India and a day before Mr. Modi addresses lawmakers.

Mr. Modi, meanwhile, is “taking the right steps” to deal with complaints 
about human rights and trafficking, Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), the top 
Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that 
conditions are better in some Indian states than in others. “There’s not 
the same level of protection throughout the country that we would like 
to see. For me, it’s a challenge of their federal system.”

A congressional commission on human rights was to meet Tuesday to 
discuss India.

“Through our country’s strong and growing relationship with India, we 
have an opportunity to encourage the protection of peaceful religious 
minorities,” Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.) said in a statement.

Overall, Mr. Modi is likely to be greeted warmly Wednesday on Capitol 
Hill. Many U.S. lawmakers have significant Indian-American 
constituencies in their states and have welcomed closer ties between the 
two countries.

Until three years ago, Mr. Modi was barred from the U.S. after religious 
riots broke out in 2002 in a state he governed as chief minister, 
leaving 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. The U.S. revoked his 
tourist visa and denied him a diplomatic visa following allegations Mr. 
Modi didn’t do enough to restrain Hindu mobs from attacking Muslims.

Mr. Modi has denied the accusations and an Indian court has said there 
isn’t enough evidence to prosecute him.

Write to Carol E. Lee at carol.lee at wsj.com and William Mauldin at 
william.mauldin at wsj.com

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