US lawmakers urge Trump to press Narendra Modi on trade, investment

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday interacted with the Indian community in Washington and lauded their role in the American economy. But unlike his four visits to the United States so far, this time, the air is rent with modest expectations. The programme is likely to be attended by about 600 members of the community. Padamshree media personality Sudhir Parikh, a medical doctor and long time community leader told PTI that India is moving forward under Modi's leadership.

Modi said the surgical strikes demonstrated that India, which normally follows the principle of restraint, can also defend its sovereignty and ensure its security when needed.

Their White House session promises less pomp than Modi's previous visits to Washington, which included former President Barack Obama taking him to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in 2014.

"Modi is an excellent politician and is nearly like a businessman". Trump is a businessman. "I think it's going to be a very robust discussion", he said at his regular briefing on Friday.

"We really hope that our concerns on these issues will be taken up at the highest level", Sharma said.

Modi, who like Trump, came into politics from a business background, is also expected to meet with a number of American CEOs, securing a deal with California drone-maker General Atomics for the sale of 22 Guardian (MQ-9) unarmed drones to India's navy for maritime patrolling, as well a tentative deal with Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems to produce F-16 fighter jets in India.

The two governments are working on a joint statement about fighting terrorism, and a senior White House official says: "We can expect to see some new initiatives on counterterrorism cooperation".

"There is a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm about India's relations with the US".

"The motto of the Modi Government in the last three years has been clear: roll out the red carpet for foreign investors and industry and give them a free hand to hire and fire while throttling labor rights and wages", the Communist Party of India's website stated. After the national anthems of India and the US were played, India's ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna, briefly spoke to the gathering.

Mr Trump's protectionist instincts, however, are at odds with PM Modi's flagship pitch to Western manufacturers to "Make In India". Modi then moved across the hall for photographs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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