Washington: US President Barack Obama will frame his trip to India next month partly as part of his effort to swiftly expand US exports after the worst economic crisis in decades, the White House said Tuesday.
Obama is expected to leave for India, the first stop of a 10-day Asian tour, days after mid-term congressional polls on 2 November in which his Democrats are expected to get a drubbing from Republicans.
Despite an intense campaign schedule, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president had been holding regular meetings with his national security team to prepare for the trip.
Gibbs also noted that despite some talk in foreign policy circles of a slight cooling in the US-India relationship, Obama had chosen Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year to be the guest at his first state dinner.
“I think that gives you a degree of understanding in terms of the significance that this government and this administration puts on that relationship,” Gibbs said.
“It’s an important economic relationship.”
“It’s an important trip, from the viewpoint, economically, we understand what we have to do to create jobs, to grow our exports, to ensure that it doesn’t just fall on American consumers to drive world demand.”
“That’s a lot of what you will hear the president talk about on that trip, and hopefully have some tangible results from it.”
The president has set a goal of doubling US exports within five years and insists the target can be reached, despite skepticism among some trade activists.
The White House has not yet announced the itinerary for Obama’s trip, but it is expected to include visits to Mumbai and New Delhi.
Obama’s visit to Asia also includes a trip to Indonesia, where he spent four years with his late mother, growing up as a boy, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Japan and the G-20 summit in South Korea.