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America Makes What India Needs

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As I traveled with President Obama to India, one thing was abundantly clear: America makes what India's growing middle-class needs.

And U.S. companies must capitalize on the huge opportunities for sales in this fast-growing market if we want to jump-start our economy and create stable, durable American jobs back home.

To help accomplish this, hundreds of key American and Indian business leaders joined the President and senior administration officials in Mumbai for an unprecedented gathering. As part of these meetings, the Export-Import Bank of the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding -- totaling more than $5 billion in financing support -- that will create or sustain approximately 22,000 American jobs, while not costing the American taxpayer a dime.

This MOU signals to American companies -- both large and small -- the tremendous opportunities available in this critical Asian market -- and it informs Indian companies that the credit is there to buy our products and services.

At Ex-Im Bank, we want U.S. companies to be as confident when selling their products in Mumbai as they are in Milwaukee, and as comfortable completing a transaction in Bangalore as in Boston. And we never want a lack of access to capital to prevent good American companies from making important export sales.

The MOU we signed will support Reliance Power's purchase of 8,000 megawatts of gas-fired power generating equipment, as well as 900 megawatts of renewable energy (solar and wind) generating equipment, from U.S. manufacturers and service providers.

Going forward, Ex-Im Bank also is exploring financing partnerships with SpiceJet as it considers its next round of aircraft purchases. These purchases will help enhance India's low-cost travel market, while supporting good American jobs.

As the world's fourth-wealthiest economy, and what one day could be the world's largest middle class, India faces an enormous need to upgrade its infrastructure, transportation sector and power plants.

In fact, India plans to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure projects between 2012 and 2017, doubling its investment rate to a projected seven-and-a-half percent of GDP.

India also plans to add 20,000 megawatts of solar power generation by the year 2020.

American companies -- and the products and services we create and provide -- are uniquely suited to assist in this enormous undertaking.

The reality is that there is no one who can match the quality, reliability and durability of American-made products, particularly our capital goods and services.

Made in the USA resonates around the world like it never has. Superior products, outstanding service: That is what I repeatedly hear when I am traveling abroad.

For example, in India, I heard from local companies who said that they prefer to do business with American companies. That we are more straightforward. That our terms are clear. And that there is transparency. That was not always the case, they said, when doing business with other countries.

The United States is the largest manufacturing country in the entire world. We make more goods than China or Germany. Yet, we are number three in exports. That is unacceptable.

We make the goods and we have to do a better job selling them. We cannot afford to let opportunities slip away in Asia or around the world.

And Ex-Im Bank is here to help ensure that the financing is in place to make these transactions happen.

We want to level the playing field for large U.S. companies as they compete against their foreign competitors -- to give them the edge they need in the global marketplace -- and we want to be sure that America's small businesses, the economic engine of our communities, have the peace of mind and security to sell their products and services abroad.

As we rebuild the foundation of our economy, exports of American-made products represent one of the most important components for future stability -- and one of the most immediate areas for potential GDP growth. We can no longer simply rely on the U.S. consumer to support our businesses or the global economy. We must look more aggressively to export markets where a growing middle class is demanding the products America makes.

That is why I am currently en route to South Africa, another key market for American exporters -- and a country where Ex-Im is set to announce exciting new transactions that will support American companies and sustain tens of thousands of jobs across the United States.