By Rohit Vaid
Civilian and military orders placed by India in American companies are creating thousands of jobs in the US, deflating President Barrack Obama's populist campaign rhetoric against outsourcing and proving once again that business is not a one-way street.
"India has created thousands of jobs in the US, and not just in any one sector, but many, especially in the aerospace industry where in the recent past India has placed orders for military and civilian aircraft from US-based companies," N. Parthasarathi, India's Consul General in San Francisco said.
India has placed an order for eight maritime patrol aircraft P8I and 10 C-17 heavy-lift military aircraft.
"We expect to have another order for four more P8Is from India. There is a provision in the foreign military sales (FMS) contract whereby India can order four more P8Is," said an official with Boeing Defense, Space and Security.
In pure commercial deals, major India-based airlines have placed huge orders for civilian aircraft. Stat-run Air India has ordered 27 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Though business and strategic ties between the two democracies have been on the upswing, India, especially its companies, have been under political attack for taking away American jobs ahead of the November presidential election. Both President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney have traded charges over protecting American jobs from being shipped overseas.
Parthasarathi said that not only Indian companies have extended their presence in the US but the Indian diaspora has also played a major role in job creation.
"An Indian engineer here is also creating jobs just like an Indian entrepreneur. There is a lot of misinformation about the issue of jobs being shifted out to India and this image is being changed," Parthasarathi said.
Corroborating Parthasarathi's views Long Beach city's mayor Bob Foster said orders from countries like India have gone a long way to sustain aircraft production lines in the US.
"Here we see India as a huge opportunity rather than a threat and we welcome the Indian interest in this region and especially in the aerospace industry based here," Foster told IANS.
"Major aircraft production units in the US are on the verge of shutting down and orders from countries like India have helped in sustaining jobs and manufacturing here," Foster added.
It is estimated that the Indian order for 10 C-17 aircraft has created nearly 22,000 jobs in the US for the duration of the production period of the given order. India is expected to receive all the 10 aircraft by the end of 2014.
It is also estimated that nearly 10 major industries producing various components and a host of other suppliers like wire manufactures get a healthy volume of business in the construction of a single aircraft.