"I can proudly say that this is the largest country specific caucus in the House of Representatives today. The Caucus started with 7 members 15 years ago. Today, it is over 150. That's impressive.
"But what's really impressive are the great strides that the Indian American community has made at all levels of government: state legislators, members of Congress, and now two sitting governors.
"We can stand here today and toast the very significant progress in U.S. - India relations the past decade. But it's important not to be complacent. The potential for much more is there. Both nations need to work towards raising the bar.
"Two obvious areas of greater cooperation are economic and security cooperation. We have seen economic cooperation rise to unprecedented levels, with two-way trade reaching a record high of $50 billion last year. Yet India's Commerce Minister describes the situation between the two countries as 'way below their potential.' I agree.
"What's more frustrating is knowing that trade is being limited by impediments which both nations could correct. These are self-inflicted wounds. Examples that come to mind - the U.S. could chop agricultural subsidy programs; while India could provide better access for U.S. exports.
"Our governments, business sectors, and community leaders of both nations, should work together to unlock our full potential.
"No better area for partnership exists than security cooperation. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, I am following this particularly aspect of our relationship carefully.
"This fall, my Subcommittee held a hearing U.S.-India counterterrorism cooperation. I’d like to get to a point where our counterterrorism exchanges are just as high-profile, numerous and unprecedented as our combined military exercises.
"Thank you for joining this evening. The impressive turnout reassures me the willpower to help grow the U.S. - India relationship is there."