1 Oct 2008

Senate due to vote on India nuclear deal vote

7:30 am on 1 October 2008

The United States Senate is expected to vote on Wednesday on a deal to end a three-decade ban on US civilian nuclear trade with India.

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) said on the Senate floor on Tuesday he was sure the bill would be finalised in time to vote

The agreement passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 298-117 on Saturday.

Congressional approval is the last hurdle to the pact, which the Bush administration believes will secure a strategic partnership with India, help meet its rising energy demand and open a market worth billions of dollars.

Critics argue the deal undermines efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and sets a precedent allowing other nations to seek to buy such technology without submitting to a full range of global nonproliferation safeguards.