Cornyn on PM Modi’s Visit to Houston
by John Cornyn on September 26, 2019 at 12:27 PM
On the Senate floor, I spoke about the historic visit of India’s Prime Minister Modi to Houston this weekend. Excerpts of my floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.
On Sunday, I had the great honor of joining President Trump in welcoming Prime Minister Modi to the Lone Star State in an event that was appropriately named ‘Howdy Modi.’
Houston is the energy capital of the world and it's providing literal fuel for our growing relationship with the nation of India… India needs access to affordable energy that America, and Texas in particular, can provide to help improve their standard of living… This trade is also vital to our economy in Texas, and we'll keep exporting our greatest natural resource to our friends in India and around the world as a result of the energy renaissance we've seen.
But as deep as our economic ties are, our cultural ties are just as strong. Texas is home to a vibrant Indian diaspora with more than 150,000 Indian Americans living in the Houston area alone, and perhaps about half a million across our entire state.
I was glad that the Prime Minister had a chance to witness that Indian culture is woven into the fabric of our state and meet a number of proud Indian Americans.
Knowing the importance of a strong U.S.-India relationship, 15 years ago I cofounded the U.S.-India Caucus in the Senate.
In 2016, the United States designated India as a major defense partner with the goal of elevating our partnership with India to the same level as those of our other closest allies. Since then we've taken a number of steps to strengthen our defense relationships such as establishing ministerial dialogue, increasing arms sales to India, and the first U.S.-India tri-service exercise later this year.
Earlier this year, I also introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which… will allow us to get a clearer picture of current military activities and will enable the Secretary of Defense to enter into military cooperation agreements and conduct regular joint military training and operations with India in the Western Indian Ocean. This would be a major step to bolster our relationship and strengthen our defense cooperation.