Business Lobbies Hard for India's Nuclear Exemption

Robert Hoffman, a lobbyist for Oracle, describes the preliminary Congressional vote to exempt India from a ban on nuclear technology sales as "a coming-out party of sorts for the India lobby." The U.S. Atomic Energy Act bans nuclear sales to countries, such as India, that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Last month, both House and Senate committees gave in-principle support to the agreement negotiated between U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, only 14 of India's 22 nuclear reactors would be open to international scrutiny. The U.S India Business Council, a project of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have hired lobbyists Patton Boggs to help with their campaign. The Indian government have hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers to promote the agreement. The final Congressional vote in expected within weeks.