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Sen. Cruz Op-Ed in Houston Chronicle: As Modi addresses the world from Houston, let’s celebrate our deepening ties to India

September 23, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Houston, Texas at the ‘Howdy Modi' event on Sunday. There, he addressed Prime Minister Modi, President Trump, members of Congress, and 300 million people watching worldwide.

As he emphasized at the event and in his op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, the ties between the United States and India continue to grow deeper and stronger, given our shared values and goals:

"Like-minded democracies should stand together for the principles of human rights, free markets, and fair commerce. India has shown its commitment to these principles, and Modi's visit to Texas is a step toward growing this much-needed partnership. I am proud to welcome him to my hometown this weekend and to celebrate our shared values and goals. Texas is blessed to have a vibrant Indian-American community, with a population of more than 500,000. I am excited for the opportunities that lay ahead for Texas, for India, and for the deepening ties between our nations."

Read the full op-ed here and below:

As Modi addresses the world from Houston, let's celebrate our deepening ties to India
Houston Chronicle
September 22, 2019
By: Sen. Cruz

This weekend Houston is hosting Indian Prime Minister Modi, and I will be there to greet him along with many of our nation's leaders, including President Trump. Before Prime Minister Modi's remarks are broadcast globally to 300 million people worldwide at this historic event, it's important to reflect on the enormous value of the relationship between our two countries and the progress we've made together.

India is the world's largest democracy, with whom we share common interests and common rivals, in a region of the world that is of critical importance. Only recently, however, have we taken meaningful steps to recognize and institutionalize those realities.

The Trump administration renamed the U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and published an Indo-Pacific Strategy, both of which are positive steps. The Indian Navy will increase its participation in joint military exercises, including Rim of the Pacific 2020, the Department of Defense's annual exercise with allies and partners across the Pacific. Annual tri-lateral military exercises between the U.S., Japan, and India are also growing in size and scope.

All of these activities, of course, are done against the backdrop of and in the shadow of the growing challenges from China, which is indisputably the most dangerous rival the United States will face in the coming years. Countering China's aggressive behavior requires viable partners in Asia and beyond, and the U.S.-Indian relationship is set to be a cornerstone of the free world's response to the Communist Chinese Party's expansionism.

India has taken a leadership position in highlighting the particular dangers of China's debt-trap diplomacy. In 2017, 24 nations met at the Belt and Road Forum to discuss Chinese projects, and in response, India's external affairs minister released a statement listing many of the ways China's investment in the region is exploitative and environmentally irresponsible. India itself has resisted subjugating the Indian economy to Chinese influence. India has instead looked beyond China and beyond the region in its efforts to bolster its economy and has become the seventh largest in the world, just behind Great Britain and France.

Texas has taken the lead in showing all the benefits of close economic ties between the U.S. and India. Gov. Abbott visited India in March 2018. Our state now accounts for 10 percent of all US-India trade, equaling over $7 billion of goods and commodities. And Texas investment in India is almost 20 percent of all U.S. foreign direct investment in the country, at nearly $3 billion.

As the relationship has grown, Indian companies have started investing in Texas as well. More than 6,300 jobs have been created directly from Indian investment in the state since 2011. Indian tech company Wipro now has major operations in Dallas, Plano and Houston, and Houston houses three U.S. headquarters for Indian multinational corporations.

Like-minded democracies should stand together for the principles of human rights, free markets, and fair commerce. India has shown its commitment to these principles, and Modi's visit to Texas is a step toward growing this much-needed partnership. I am proud to welcome him to my hometown this weekend and to celebrate our shared values and goals. Texas is blessed to have a vibrant Indian-American community, with a population of more than 500,000. I am excited for the opportunities that lay ahead for Texas, for India, and for the deepening ties between our nations.

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