Terrorism, trade will be major talking points between Modi and Trump

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

PM Modi's trip, the official said is an opportunity to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership, which President Trump very much views as a critical partnership in promoting stability and security in the Asia Pacific region and globally.

India's leader heads to the United States this weekend for his first meeting with President Donald Trump, seeking to build on growing ties between the world's two largest democracies and move beyond disagreements over climate change.

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.

This would be PM Modi's fourth visit to the US, where he forged a close relationship with former US President Barack Obama and called the US "an indispensable partner".

Officials were eager to downplay expectations of the visit that begins on Sunday, describing it as "no frills" - in contrast to Modi's first USA visit in 2014, when he basked in a rock star welcome at the Madison Square Garden arena in NY and addressed the United Nations.

The senior White House official said any arms transfer would take into account the regional situation. "Then they will each give press statements", the official, said clarifying that it would not be a press conference.

The official in question again peeps into the auto for a conversation with Modi following which the prime minister finally emerges out of his official vehicle. Terrorism that emanates from there has affected not only India, but also many other countries.

Counter-terrorism would be another major area of discussion.

Noting that India remains an important bilateral trade and investment partner for the U.S., the lawmakers said the two countries are now have the largest bilateral trade and investment flows ever recorded in their relationship.

China will be an important topic in the discussions between PM Modi and Trump.

"I don´t think PM Modi can change Trump´s worldview".

"Nevertheless, as a result of India's persistent failure to enact market-based reforms and resolve significant and discriminatory impediments to trade and investment, the US- India economic relationship severely underperforms". With India, we're building that strategic partnership. One of Modi's most famous videos displaying his penchant for camera was when he had visited the Facebook headquarter in the US.

"These barriers are prevalent in multiple sectors and include high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), inconsistent and nontransparent licensing and regulatory practices, and various other restrictions", the lawmakers said.

The United States is India's second-largest defense supplier, and a US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) deal for the United States to sell 22 unarmed drones to India to protect its vast coastline appears set for approval by the Trump administration.

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