Trump, Modi seek rapport despite friction on trade, immigration

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

The working dinner that Trump is hosting for Modi is the first of its kind under the current U.S. administration. One of the major restriction is doubling the minimum salary offered to a mid-level H-1B worker. In a change of plans, the USA and India have changed their earlier stand of no questions allowed - instead, after a joint statement is issued on their meeting, each leader will take one question selected in advance.

There are reports that the two leaders could hold discussions on a proposal for India to buy 100 armed Predator drones made by General Atomics and over support for India's plans for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. They account for about 70 percent of the visas awarded annually, majority going to workers from India's $150 billion tech industry.

While Indian firms and techies are often criticised for the loss of investments and job opportunities in US, Modi in the piece has subtly said that the Indian firms and investment are key for the rejuvenation of US industrial power. Since 2008, India has signed more than $15 billion in U.S. defense contracts, including for C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters.

The company has been aggressively investing in setting up fulfilment centres across India to ensure speedy delivery to consumers.

"I think we can expect to see some new initiatives on counter-terrorism cooperation", he added. "But he can help Trump to think of India as an opportunity rather than as a problem", said Tellis, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"If America becomes stronger, India will be a natural beneficiary", he said. While Trump has criticized other big trading partners such as Mexico, China and Germany, he has not yet called out India, barring a veiled reference to import duties on Harley Davidson that the motorcycle giant doesn't actually pay.

"Good", said Cook as he emerged out of the meeting.

That could change very quickly.

Modi is also expected to seek assurances on the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative that facilitate US arms technology transfers to India, Bloomberg reported. Furthermore, a large budget will be allocated for the expansion of Israeli export activity to India.

This may not be on the formal agenda but forms part of the tense backdrop against which the meeting is taking place. The U.S. leader has met the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam since taking office in January. India has committed more than three billion dollars in developmental aid to Afghanistan and is actively engaged in promoting democracy in the war torn country.

The India of your dream will be a reality during your lifetime.

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP on his Twitter account.

Talking about the army's surgical strikes on terror launching pads across the border on October 26 a year ago, the Prime Minister said no country has questioned the government's action.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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