India’s prime minister visits Trump in Washington

India’s prime minister visits Trump in Washington

Modi will meet with President Trump at the White House Monday for the first face-to-face discussion between the two leaders.

Perhaps that’s fitting, as there is so much in the relationship to work on.

Modi is also expected to seek assurances on the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative that facilitate USA arms technology transfers to India, Bloomberg reported.

Amazon, which has recently completed four years of operations in India, is locked in an intense battle for leadership with homegrown e-tailer Flipkart.

There is angst in New Delhi that Trump has not paid adequate attention to India, but Trump has generally been positive about India in public messaging.

India’s growth presents a win-win partnership for India and United States both. “That’s something [both sides] might hope to correct”.

The combination of technology, innovation and skilled workers has helped forge an exciting digital and scientific partnership between the two countries, the prime minister said.

But the Trump administration has yet to articulate an overall South Asia policy. What PM Modi’s statement indicates is that India is not a pushover on security issues and will limit worldwide intervention on the Kashmir issue.

Ashley Tellis, an expert on South Asia at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the USA decision to offer the Guardian aircraft to India is significant as the United States has a standing policy of declining export of such advanced drones other than to allies involved in combined operations with U.S. forces.

Summary: Modi in his radio address, “Mann ki Baat” said the village has set an example for others to follow.

“India too has its own viable startups and industry”.

But the Indian leader’s visit comes at an inopportune time, as the president and his team are distracted by domestic political and legal challenges.

While Modi is expected to lobby for USA visas for technology workers from India, “anti-worker” Modi’s Government has been criticized for generating fewer jobs, cracking down on labor rights and exclusively focusing on foreign investments in its three years in office.

“I think he feels very comfortable meeting with President Trump. What is his sense of how China-U.S. relations will develop?” asks Saran. But, not a single country questioned India’s surgical strike against the terrorist launchpads in Pakistan (last year).

But Trump also lauded Modi’s economic stewardship, and the praise was mutual.

The separate meetings between Mattis as well as Tillerson and Prime Minister Modi came ahead of the latter’s maiden meeting with President Trump at the White House. The Raisina Hill is the seat of the Government of India in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister said that “whenever India and the USA work together, the world reaps the benefits – be it our collaborative efforts to find affordable vaccines for rotavirus or dengue, our joint studies of gravitational waves, observations of distant planets, establishing norms for cyberspace, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indo-Pacific region, or training peacekeepers in Africa”.

Trump has also previously criticized India for its role in securing the rights of Third World countries during the 2015 Paris Climate Change Accords.

Initial signs were upbeat, with Trump describing Modi as a “true friend!” on Twitter, and the Indian leader posting that he “greatly looked forward” to the one-on-one.

After their talks, Modi and Trump made statements in the Rose Garden.

Trump’s protectionist instincts, however, are at odds with India’s efforts to boost exports and encourage Western manufacturers to “Make In India” – a flagship Modi scheme.

Despite the uncertainty that now surrounds bilateral ties, India ought to approach the U.S. with confidence, not diffidence, assured that the evolving competition in Asia makes a strong partnership between Washington and New Delhi inevitably destined for success.

Hailing the the recently-approved $2 bn “Guardian” drone deal between New Delhi and Washington “symbolic” and ‘strategic, Pande said that it sends a message to both Pakistan and China.

He said their success is due to the supportive environment in the U.S., and his government is working to provide the same environment back home.

Rao termed Modi and Trump as unconventional global leaders. They brook no criticism and believe in personal diplomacy. “Social media has become very powerful”.

Mirchandani expects this is one area in which the two will find common ground. He added that this shows India can take big decisions and implement them swiftly.