Obama asks US business to take on India, China

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WASHINGTON - Once again citing growing competition from nations like India and China, US President Barack has made a case for ramping up spending on education and infrastructure to put the US economy back on track.

“We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our competitors,” Obama told the US Chamber of Commerce Monday noting that “with the march of technology over the last few decades, the competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce.”

“The truth is, as countries like China and India and Brazil grow and develop larger middle classes, it’s profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and, at times, to set up facilities in these countries,” he said.

“These forces are as unstoppable as they are powerful,” Obama acknowledged as he sought to woo Washington’s most powerful business lobby with which “we’ve had some pretty strong disagreements.”

“But combined with a brutal and devastating recession, these forces have also shaken the faith of the American people-in the institutions of business and government,” he said.

“They see a widening chasm of wealth and opportunity in this country, and they wonder if the American Dream is slipping away.”

Citing “recently signed export deals with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs here in the United States,” Obama said: “We need an economy that’s based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and sell around the world.”

Noting that the Chamber supported the 2009 Recovery Act, Obama said: “I’m here today because I’m convinced we can and must work together.”

Laying out his plans to help American businesses compete on the global stage, he said the federal government will work to improve transportation and communications networks, invest in education, provide research incentives, rebuild crumbling infrastructure and reform the corporate tax code.

At the same time, Obama said Washington will keep spending under control, and that he will work with both his Democratic and opposition Republican parties to “take additional steps across the budget to put our nation on sounder fiscal footing.”

Obama also said the government needs to reform its own structure, starting with the 12 different agencies that deal with America’s exports.

“In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate and reorganise the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America,” Obama said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

Filed under: Economy

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