The US Senate passed a deal Wednesday to let America join Russia and France in supplying India's huge energy needs.
The 86-to-13 vote to resume civilian nuclear trade with India for the first time since 1974 is a signature diplomatic achievement for the Bush administration, cementing ties with a nation seen as a counterweight to China.
But it is also a major piece of business. In 20 years, India aims to increase its nuclear power 10-fold, and will rely on international businesses to do it.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh struck a deal Tuesday to open nuclear trade with France – a deal the Indian Chamber of Commerce estimates to be worth $29 billion. Russia is already helping India build two reactors.
Before Wednesday, US business leaders were worried about being left behind. They estimate that the deal could create 200,000 jobs in the US and revive an industry that has not built a new plant in the US for a decade.