At a time when President Donald Trump has been going all-out with his “Buy American, Hire American” push and putting the squeeze on foreign guest worker visas in the process, Indian companies have pumped in a tidy $18 billion in investments across the United States and created more than 113,000 jobs.
A report, titled “Indian Roots, American Soil”, highlighting this ‘tangible foreign direct investment’ by Indian companies, was released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the presence of a host of lawmakers on Capitol Hill here on last Tuesday.
Based on a survey of 100 Indian companies with investments and operations across a wide spectrum of sectors in the US, the report ranks New York ($1.57 billion), New Jersey ($1.56 billion), Massachusetts ($931 million), California ($542million) and Wyoming ($435 million) as the five top States to benefit from the Indian FDI. In terms of jobs created, New Jersey leads the table with 8,570 jobs, followed by Texas (7,270), California (6,750), New York (5,140) and Georgia (4,550).
The report, the fifth of its kind brought out by the CII in alternate years, noted that the surveyed companies have also collectively committed $588 million for R&D and $147 towards corporate social responsibility.
The companies represent diverse sectors including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, aerospace and defence, financial services, healthcare, tourism, engineering and construction, automotive, food and agriculture, energy and information technology. Hailing the initiative, the lawmakers, both Democratic and Republican, called upon the Indian companies to keep up the momentum, with several of them pitching for steering the investment towards their own respective States.
“Indian industry and professionals are making significant contributions to the US economy - I am delighted that this fact is being recognised today at the CII event on Capitol Hill,” said India’s Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, adding: “The presence and reach of Indian companies continues to grow each year as they invest billions of dollars and create jobs across the United States.”
Sarna said the study highlights Indian industry's ascension as a significant stakeholder in the US economy, noting: “This is a critical component of our strong and vibrant bilateral relationship with the US, which continues to flourish in strategic terms as well.” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress and Democratic co-chair of the India Caucus, lauded the Indian companies for not only adding value to the US economy, but investing in American communities as well. US-India trade in goods and service totalled $114 billion in 2016 - a year when India was America's ninth largest trading partner, she said, but noted: “There is much work to be done.”
“I am glad to see the principles of free market economics being celebrated today on Capitol Hill as we recognise the contributions Indian Industry have brought to the US economy and States,” said Republican Congressman Dave Brat from Virginia said: CII Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee said the story of Indian investment in the US showcases “how intertwined we are as nations that contribute to each other's success”.