US lawmakers urge Trump to press India's Modi on trade, investment

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 26, 2017

Trump will host Modi at the White House tomorrow and the two leaders would spend about five hours together in various settings beginning with their bilateral discussion, delegation level talks, a reception and a working dinner, the first of its kind hosted by this administration.

This is Modi government's signature initiative to boost manufacturing in the country, but will the Trump administration lend its support.

Modi, a Hindu nationalist, will be making his fourth visit to the USA since he took office in 2014.

Modi arrived in Washington on Sunday morning (India time) to a red carpet welcome.

"The trip is an opportunity to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership, which Trump very much views as a critical partnership in promoting stability and security in the Asia Pacific region and globally", the White House official said.

Despite talk of an ever closer relationship between the two countries, it remains to be seen whether India is on the Trump administration's priority list.

The country's foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, later dismissed Trump's remarks as "completely not true", and Modi has made it clear during recent meetings with European leaders that the country will stay the course on its commitment with or without the United States.

The CEOs present included Apple's Tim Cook, Walmart's Doug McMillon, Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby and Google's Sundar Pichai.

"What Modi will confront on his USA visit is Trump's "America first" doctrine in action", Bharat Karnad, a research professor at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, told DW.

He said: "Growth of India presents win-win partnership for India and USA both".

"However, I take satisfaction in the fact that this is the second summit between India and Portugal within a period of six months", he said. After the US withdrawal, France and Germany will be alone in footing the huge bill to keep India and China on board.

"I think these two leaders have a lot in common".

India is among nations singled out by the Trump administration for their trade surpluses with the USA, which in India's case totaled $30.8 billion in 2016.

In a joint address to the media after signing 11 bilateral agreements, Modi and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who traces his origin to Goa, said the two countries have made substantial progress since Costa visited India in January.

However, while both PM Modi and Trump agree on the need for stringent actions to curb religious extremism wherever it takes roots, their methods to achieve the same objective might differ.

It also said that discussions and negotiations regarding climate issues and H1B visa programme will be important to China as these are issues that affect the Chinese as well.

Almost six months after he took office, President Donald Trump will welcome Narendra Modi to the White House on Monday. "We are looking at a very productive visit", she said.

There are no plans to discuss the issue of H-1B visas, the skilled-worker program popular among many Silicon Valley companies.

Modi also said that both India and Portugal were determined to deepen the cooperation in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism.

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