Diwali is the Festival of Lights, a five-day celebration in India. The celebration heralds the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair, and good over evil. Prosperity, happiness and peace are hoped for during the event.
The festival is celebrated nationwide, according to the Sify News Website, and includes people of all faiths in India. President Obama even celebrated Diwali in the East Room of the White House before he left on his trip.
It appears he is going to India for more than just a festival of hope and happiness.
India is the largest trade partner with the United States. With unemployment looming near 10 percent and with no signs of that breaking anytime soon, President Obama is set to discuss and possibly sign further trade agreements at a summit with The Business and Entrepreneurship summit organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) in partnership with the UD Department of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industry.
Erica Warner, AP, reported on the President’s news conference on Thursday when he stated:
“The primary purpose is to take a bunch of U.S. companies and open up markets so that we can sell in Asia, in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and we can create jobs here in the United States. And my hope is, is that we’ve got some specific announcements that show the connection between what we’re doing overseas and what happens here at home when it comes to job growth and economic growth.”
With all the jobs that have vanished due to overseas outsourcing in India, I wonder exactly how he intends to encourage the Indian government and businesses to create jobs here.
According to an editorial by Dr. Satish Misra, NPA, in the Central Chronicle, “Obama visit to boost ties?,”several businesses in the U.S. seek to make billions from the economic summit. Boeing and GE are hoping for congressional approval for the sale of military planes and engines, Caterpillar is hoping to sell marine engines, and Harley Davidson is hoping to set up an assembly plant for building motorcycles.
But wait a minute. That last one will create jobs in India. I thought the President’s agenda was to create jobs here.
So the trip has economic importance to both countries. In the war on terror, I wonder about the strategic importance as well, since India is a nuclear power.
The American people and the economy will just have to wait and see. Perhaps it’s time to “fasten our seatbelts” and prepare for a bumpy road ahead.