In previous post, I mentioned that there is large number of people who believe that it will be tough to get senate ratify BIT with visa provisions. In other words, visa provisions (in their view) can be a poison pill. In fact some think that any BIT with India can not be ratified by Senate in current political climate. Two developments contradict these assumptions.
First, I am glad to report that at least one senator (who is very influential-due to his seniority and the balance of power in senate and who is Independent) Senator Lieberman of Connecticut has come out in support of the India US BIT. In his speech at Heritage Foundation on Asia-Pacific on November 2, 2011, he said:
“..we must redouble our efforts to conclude a Bilateral Investment Treaty with India, with the clearly stated goal of concluding a full FTA with New Delhi before the decade is out.”
Not only he is advocating BIT, he wants to do full FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with India!!
Another opening in Congress’ view of visas favorably to Indians came from US Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and the committee chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in form of their introduction and support of H. R. 3012 which removes per country limit in Employment based visas.
With these two developments, we are hopeful that India US BIT will achieve momentum it deserves.