Friday, March 03, 2006


AP: Bush says U.S. should welcome competition in India

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer -- Friday, 1 hour, 12 minutes ago

U.S. President George W. Bush, right, puts a hand plow over his shoulder during a visit to Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in Hyderabad, India, Friday, March 3, 2006. Mant at left is unidentified. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)HYDERABAD, India - President Bush [seen here putting a hand plow over his shoulder during a visit to Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in Hyderabad, Friday, March 3, 2006. Man at left is unidentified. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)] urged Americans worried about a U.S. job drift to India and other countries to welcome, not fear, competition with this rapidly growing nation of 1 billion.

"The classic opportunity for our American farmers and entrepreneurs and small businesses to understand is there is a 300 million-person market of middle class citizens here in India," Bush said Friday during a discussion with young entrepreneurs at a business school here, "and that if we can make a product they want, that it becomes viable."

A day earlier, Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inked a deal for the United States to provide nuclear fuel, reactors and know-how to help this energy-starved nation meet its growing demand for power, while allowing it to continue developing nuclear weapons.

"Yesterday was a way to put the Cold War behind us," Bush said of the historic nuclear accord.

As part of an effort to nurture economic ties with a nation that was once estranged from the United States, the president flew here to take in both this city's high-tech activity that is helping to drive rapid economic growth and the rural areas around it that lag behind.

The meeting with business leaders and an earlier tour around the dusty campus of an agricultural college were aimed at showcasing ways the United States and India can cooperate to spur innovation across industries.

India's exploding economy has created millions of jobs. India's outsourcing industry alone is expected to bring in $22 billion in revenue this fiscal year, much of that generated by U.S. companies.

"People do lose jobs as a result of globalization and it's painful for those who lose jobs," Bush acknowledged. "Globalization provides great opportunities."

The boom has created millions of jobs along with consumer demands that have attracted American businesses. A luxury goods market has even emerged, with brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolls Royce setting up shop along with consumer demands that have attracted American businesses.

Though 80 percent of Indians live on less than $2 a day, India's middle class has swelled to a number larger the population of the entire United States. The U.S. trade deficit with India, however, nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005 to $10 billion.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

D.H.: Just a few thoughts, Mr. Bush:

1. The Cold War was with Russia and China, and ended under Reagan; you are fighting the War on Terra now, and it's not with India; and Indians don't live on reservations.

2. Not many people living on $2 a day will buy French designer bags and Brittish luxury cars, and that won't help the American economy anymore than outsourcing of jobs does.

3. I suppose we could compete better with 300 million Indians living on $2 a day if we repealed all our labor, environmental and safety laws and lowered our standard of living. And, by the way, you forgot to throw in your usual mantra about getting more training. But you did look good with that plow over your shoulder, even though it's not used that way -- something you might have known if you'd ever kept a real job in your entire life.

4. Tell your mother, whom you apparently learned class warfare from, that Katrina evacuees are still living better than they were before the storm, even though most of them got evicted from the hotels FEMA provided last week.

5. And you might try something Marie Antoinette tried in France sometime back when these pesky people ran out of bread -- let 'em eat cake.

-Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
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