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US official Alice Wells says India’s rising middle class could mean a demand for US exports

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Alice Wells

Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells says rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy in the country.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells says rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy.

Wells claims the emergence of 350 million middle class consumers will drive Indian growth, while offering major opportunities for U.S. exports.

“Emerging middle-class consumers will have new demands in areas such as education, health care, and financial and professional services — fields where U.S. companies have much to offer … agricultural technology and projects can contribute to a diversified nutritional profile that can do much to advance public health in India,” she said addressing the U.S. India Business Council.

Wells says there is “extraordinary economic potential in the Indian market,” in particular in aviation-related trade. She cited recent Boeing aircraft purchases by SpiceJet and Jet Airways as indicators.

The energy sector is another area with tremendous opportunities. Wells denoted India is the third largest energy consumer in the world, behind China and the U.S. India will “remain one of the largest energy consumers for decades to come,” she said.

Indian companies are increasing their purchases of U.S. crude oil. In addition, several Indian firms are investing in U.S. liquefied natural gas to meet demand. India’s state gas utility signed a 20-year supply agreement with U.S.-based Cheniere Energy. The first delivery of multiple shipments has already taken place.

“Many have questioned how ‘Make America Great’ here and Made in India can be compatible, and indeed, we do need to do more to balance the U.S. trade deficit with India. She says the trade deficit totaled nearly $30 billion in 2016.

“Rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy that can help Indians live healthier and more productive lives. And that will in turn create more growth in India,” added Wells.

Issues such as tariff and non-tariff barriers, subsidies, bureaucratic policies, investment restrictions and intellectual property concerns are being discussed between the State Department, USTR and the Commerce Department.

“We’re committed to a trade relationship that promotes prosperity in both our countries by ensuring that it’s fair and reciprocal,” Wells added.

Wells previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. She also had stints as a senior adviser in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau in the Department of State and as Special Assistant to the President for Russia and Central Asia in the White House. She has serve din roles under Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Executive Assistant under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns.

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India minister Jaishankar Addresses human rights at UN

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Jaishankar Addresses Human Rights At UN | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Human rights can’t be protected without addressing the threat of terrorism. That’s the message India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar delivered the UN’s Human Rights Council, emphasizing human rights cannot be protected without addressing terrorism, which he called as “one of the gravest threats to humankind.” Last month, India proposed an 8-point plan at the UN to tackle terrorism.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated by President Biden to be Surgeon General for the second time, made in excess of $2 million on COVID-19 related consultations and speeches according to financial disclosures. Carnival cruise lines, Airbnb and the NBA were among the dozens of organizations who retained Murthy for his expertise.

Two Indian Americans are suing Subway, the sandwich chain, claiming there is no tuna in their tuna meals. Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin claim Subway falsely promotes its tuna salad sandwiches as composed of wild tuna, when it actually has no tuna or any other fish in it.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Kiran Ahuja nominated to office of personnel management

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Kiran Ahuja Nominated To Office Of Personnel Management | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Biden nominated Kiran Ahuja to lead the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency that oversees the government’s civilian workforce. Ahuja worked in the Obama White House as executive director of the Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and later became chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management.

India has 1.3 billion people, 4 times the population of the US. Yet in terms of COVID-19 deaths, India has handled the pandemic far better according to new data. 500,000 Americans have died over the last year versus 150,000 Indians. Both nations are now in a full court press to get their respective populations immunized.

Golf superstar Tiger Woods was involved in a single-car crash with major damage to his vehicle. No one else was involved in the crash. Woods underwent surgery after suffering “multiple leg injuries,” according to his agent. But injuries are not life-threatening.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Report: Nikki Haley Eyeing 2024 Presidential Campaign

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Report: Nikki Haley Eyeing 2024 Presidential Campaign | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — It’s no surprise to political observers, but an extensive report from Politico says former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is laying the groundwork to run for President in 2024. In recent weeks, Haley has distanced herself from former President Trump over the storming of the US Capitol. So it remains to be seen whether his supporters will look to her to guide the GOP leadership in the next political cycle.

Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney announced they intend to vote against Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget, another challenge to confirming of Biden’s pick for budget director. The White House reaffirmed its support for Tanden, adding that it will continue to “work toward her nomination.” West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced he will also vote against Tanden’s selection for OMB.

The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be staggering, with the death toll now reaching 500,000 Americans. While there should be enough vaccines to cover the nation in the weeks to come, the loss of life is expected to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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