Washington: The US sees no contradiction in President Barack Obama's election year rhetoric against outsourcing of jobs to India and its efforts to forge a stronger strategic partnership with New Delhi.
"It's very important for America to get our economy on track. And we're always looking for opportunities to promote American business and American jobs," a senior State Department official told the foreign media Friday.
"As a way of promoting American business and American jobs, we're always looking to advance free trade opportunities and to develop the kind of important trade relationships like the one with India, which I think can be beneficial to both countries," said Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Mike Hammer.
"And the key here is to lower barriers, to ensure that there's a free and fair and level playing field so that, again, both countries can compete and look to see how best to promote sort of economic growth and business opportunities," Hammer said.
"And that's the focus of our effort," he said. "So I don't see a contradiction in that."
"Again, the efforts are focused on creating economic growth, and that provides opportunity because when there's growth in India, that creates markets for American products," Hammer suggested.
Hammer, who earlier worked at the White House, said he was very high and positive about the evolution and growth of US-Indian relations over the past three years, but also beginning perhaps with Bill Clinton's administration, continuing with George Bush's administration.
"But President Obama developed a fantastic working relationship with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that you're well aware of," he said.
"So I think what we've seen is the growth of this partnership that we enjoy with India based on common values, and it's something that I think both of our peoples benefit from tremendously," Hammer said.
"We recognize the importance of India as a important regional and global power, and it's why we are very keenly interested in continuing to grow that relationship, as we also look to address regional issues and global issues that are of mutual concern," he said.