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Pressler: India Crowds Love Trump, But CEOs Are Concerned

pressler_in_india.jpg
Courtesy Larry Pressler
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President Trump is getting a big welcome during his visit to India this week, but a former U.S. senator from South Dakota said CEOs in India are concerned about America’s fiscal problems.  

The former senator is Larry Pressler, who’s now a 77-year-old public speaker and university lecturer. 

While he was serving as a Republican senator during the 1990s, he sponsored the Pressler Amendment. It temporarily stopped U.S. aid and arms sales to India’s arch-enemy, Pakistan.  

Some people in India loved him for it, and that led to opportunities. After he lost re-election in 1996, Pressler served on the board of the Indian company Infosys. He still travels to India for lectures and meetings.  

He was there last month for a meeting of CEOs from across India. And he was surprised to hear what they were talking about.  

“Well, I found that they were very concerned about the U.S. deficit,” Pressler said. 

The U.S. government runs a budget deficit every year. The U.S. debt is $23 trillion.  

Pressler said India has reserves in dollars, and India’s stock market is closely tied to America’s. He said CEOs in India think American fiscal problems could destabilize currencies and cause inflation. And he said the CEOs wonder why Americans aren’t talking about it.  

“They’re wondering how we can have a presidential campaign without some candidate being for a lower deficit,” Pressler said. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s visit to India this week has been met with cheering crowds. Pressler said people there admire Trump as a businessman and like his colorful style.  

But Pressler – who wrote an op-ed piece about his India trip – said the concern among CEOs in India is real, and he shares it.  

“I’m just horrified at the way we do budgeting in Congress now,” he said. 

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