US president Barrack Obama landed today in India for what is his longest strategic visit to a freign state since he took over office. His purposes are mainly to increase opportunities for US businesses in India, secure ties with emerging economic giant and to also ease its relations with the US’s regional ally; Pakistan.
Big defense contracts are up for grabs with US defense firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing both bidding for an upcoming contract for 126 fighter jets valued at 11billion dollars. Obama will also look at securing places for other US business like retail chains and other exports.
In a opinion piece to the New York Times, Obama recently wrote:
“It is hard to overstate the importance of Asia to our economic future, it can be tempting, in times of economic difficulty, to turn inward, away from trade and commerce with other nations. But in our interconnected world, that is not a path to growth, and that is not a path to jobs. We cannot be shut out of these markets.”
Obama’s efforts at increasing jobs and wealth for the US economy comes in the wake of controversy regarding the Federal Exchange (the US central bank) initiative to print some $600 billion worth of money. Such an increase of dollars in the world market will mean that more dollars will flow to developing countries as investments, this will increase the value of their currencies and reduce their exports, while helping US exports at the same time.
In addition the US has been agitating for China to increase the value of its own currency to better reflect the fact that it is now the world’s second biggest economy. The US has suggested controls to manage trade imbalances but China has rebuffed the plan. Germany has called the US’s money printing venture ‘clueless’. This will set the stage for a fractious G20 summit next Friday.
Back in India, US steps to increase US Visa fees, ban outsourcing in the state of Ohio and the portray of the Indian IT industry as one of the prime causes of US job loss in election propaganda have left the Indians rather unfriendly to US commiserations at the moment.
In the meanwhile, domestic US employment has begun to recover. But increases in jobs are still too ambiguous and uncertain for Obama to sleep comfortably at night.