US - INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW

T heoretically, the Trump administration's immi- gration policy is based on two core principles: upholding the rule of law and promoting a "merit-based" system that's good for the econo- my. So why has the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just proposed to scrap the International Entrepreneur Rule, a late-Obama program intended to lure the world's most promising entrepreneurs to create compa- nies and jobs in America rather than elsewhere? The department doesn't dispute the lawfulness of the program, whose economic benefit is obvi- ous. (Full disclosure: One of us worked for a Republican president and supports this initiative, and the other worked in the Obama White House to implement it.) It would create as many as 300,000 jobs for U.S. workers, it's been 19 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018 one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it pres- ents a huge growth opportunity for both countries -- a thriving market for American goods, and the chance for India to benefit from American investment. It is critical that we grow and strengthen our ties with the world’s growing economies and India is foremost among these partners. Already, the U.S. is India’s largest trading partner, with 13.7 percent of Indian exports coming to the United States. Meanwhile, India is one of the largest U.S. trading partners – ranking eighth-highest overall. India has the second-largest English-speaking population in the world, behind only the United States. The futures of our two peoples is more unified than ever before. This close connection extends far beyond goods and services. It includes the exchange of people and knowledge in both directions. My father first came to the U.S. in pursuit of a graduate degree in engineering. Today, many Indians come to this country to pursue an education or start a business, such as the tech firms I ran before becoming a Member of Congress. Yet, today we face the challenge of overcoming artificially high immigration barriers posed by an Administration that seems intent on discouraging the exchange of people and knowl- edge. Congress must protect this valuable exchange of people that greatly benefits both nations, and I am optimistic that a majority of Congress will eventually see the light. While we must work to maintain and expand our economic ties, there is a deeper foundation to Indian-American friendship: our shared democratic values. The U.S. is the world’s oldest democ- racy, and India is the world’s largest. Our mutual commitment to liberty, justice, the rule of law and fair elections is the corner- stone of our close relations. With the rise of authoritarian govern- ments in Europe and Asia, the U.S. and India form a bulwark of democratic values that transcends the politics of the moment. The 21st Century will continue to be defined by partnerships based on shared values and cooperation. And while both India and the U.S. can boast powerful militaries, our real strength comes from our democratic ideals. From Washington to Delhi to Tokyo to Berlin and beyond, the world’s leading democracies must work together in the face of rising intol- erance, extremism and violence. Together, the U.S. and India can help lead the way. Now is not the time for our country to turn away from our allies and partners. We must reach out to those nations that share our democratic heritage and values. That’s why a close U.S. partnership with India is not just the dream of millions of Indian- Americans. It is in the long-term best interests of the entire United States. More foreign entrepreneurs are good for America Raja Krishnamoorthi | Democrat, represents the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. By Doug Rand, Stuart Anderson

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