U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in India on Thursday on a high-profile mission to deepen ties and dispel any doubts about the U.S. commitment to New Delhi under U.S. President Barack Obama.
Despite Obama's early focus on fighting the Taliban insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, aides say they fully understand India's importance as a rising major power and they want to strengthen all aspects of the relationship.
"Everything is on the table," Clinton said on Wednesday. "We're going to do everything we can to broaden and deepen our engagement," Reuters reports.
Hillary Clinton hopes to unveil the agreements that would help American firms sell sophisticated arms and nuclear power plants to India.
One would be an "end-use monitoring" agreement under which the United States would have the right to make sure American arms sold to India are used for their intended purpose and that the technology does not leak to third countries. Under U.S. law, such a pact is necessary for U.S. firms to bid on India's plan to buy 126 multirole fighters, one of the largest arms deals in the world and a potential boon to Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co, The Newsday reports.
The announcement could be made when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Mumbai and New Delhi from Friday through Monday, according to Robert Blake, her point man for relations with India and neighboring countries.
"We hope that (we) will be in a position to announce publicly those two sites where US companies can have exclusive rights to locate reactors and sell reactors to the Indians," Blake told reporters ahead of the trip.
"That's a major opportunity for American companies, and opens up as much as 10 billion dollars worth of exports to India," said Blake, the assistant secretary of state for south Asian affairs, AFP reports.