Working on a Very Big Trade Deal With India

Marco Green
February 21, 2020

The Washington Post's India Bureau Chief Joanna Slater joins us to explain what the Trump administration hopes to get out of this visit. Last, Ritu Sharma details how Ahmedabad is preparing for the visit and why the beautification drive comes at a cost.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has come out with a fact sheet on the CAA, citing not just media reports but also remarks made by central ministers, including Amit Shah, to show why the new law "represents a significant downward turn in religious freedom in India". Responding to queries on the proposed deal, which many initially saw as a possible and major takeaway from Trump's visit starting on Monday, the foreign ministry said India didn't want to rush into the agreement and would instead focus on having an outcome which struck the "right balance" for both sides.

Declaring himself the world's number 1 on Facebook, Trump said that Modi was the second in the number of followers.

President Trump told reporters, "Narendra Modi says between the stadium and the airport, we'll have about 7 million people".

The latter would limit the US trade imbalance with India, a key goal for Trump as he seeks to narrow Washington's global trade deficits. "Even in the past, several leaders (including) US Presidents have also held public events in India, even though on a much smaller scale".

The claim by Modi, who was the head of Gujarat for 12 years, appeared to be a bit of a stretch, as the total population of Ahmedabad is estimated to only be between 6 million to 6.5 million. I think this question should be addressed to them.

Trump's reluctance to bring up the issues is due to USA concerns not to upset its South Asian partner as it seeks to maintain a key regional counterweight to China, according to Sahi. Though India has said it won't roll back the tax, sources said the Centre was considering allowing a trade margin policy for certain high-value items such as coronary stents.

Attempts to stifle access to the contested region have also resulted in the U.S. State Department being unable to send in a delegation to see the conditions first-hand.

Nearly all district departments are busy working on a "fool proof" management of the event during the USA first couple's visit.

Modi's cabinet was meeting on Wednesday to give formal clearance for a $2.6-billion deal for two dozen military helicopters from US defense firm Lockheed Martin.

"Ever since the trade talks really began to pick up steam about eight months ago, you've actually seen a little less aggressive tone by the U.S".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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