Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vision for a new India” will also help create jobs in the US, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer said while announcing Modi’s White House visit scheduled for June 26.
United States President Donald Trump will host Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on June 26 in Washington, DC, during the Modi’s state visit to the US.
India–United States relations or Indo-American relations refers to the international relations that exist between the Republic of India and the United States of America.
Prominent leaders of India’s freedom movement had friendly relations with the United States of America which continued well after independence from Great Britain in 1947.
In the 21st century, Indian foreign policy has sought to leverage India’s strategic autonomy in order to safeguard sovereign rights and promote national interests within a multi-polar world.
Under Presidents Bush and Obama, the United States has demonstrated accommodation to India’s core national interests and acknowledged outstanding concerns. A unique feature of this relation is that U.S. is the world’s oldest democracy, while India is the world’s largest democracy.
Addressing the common interests of the two countries in an environment where Trump’s promotion of a policy of “Buy American, hire American” is stoking apprehensions in India, Spicer on Monday said: “US energy and technologies, including natural gas, are helping to build Prime Minister Modi’s vision for a new India and creating thousands of American jobs in the process.”
Despite the recent hiccups over the issue, US-India trade has grown six-fold since 2000, from USD 19 billion to USD 115 billion in 2016, Spicer said, adding that the Indian economy is growing at over 7 per cent.
The maiden meeting between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would “set forth a vision” to expand the US-India partnership in an ambitious way, the White House has said.
The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies, home to 1.6 billion people, will meet on June 26 to discuss a gamut of bilateral issues including terrorism and India’s concerns over possible changes in H1B visa rules.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her annual press meet last week said Modi would also raise the issues surrounding the US plans to reduce the number of H-1B visa slots that are mainly used by Indian IT workers.
Notably, Modi’s US visit, which would begin on June 25, comes in the backdrop of Trump’s announcement to withdraw the US from the historic Paris Climate Agreement signed by over 190 other countries.
In his announcement of the decision for which he received a global condemnation, Trump had blamed India and China for the US withdrawal.
“India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions of dollars from developed countries,” Trump had said.
Strongly rejecting Trump’s contention, India said it signed the Paris deal not under duress or for lure of money but due to its commitment to protect the environment.
During his visit to France this month, Modi even said, “that India would go above and beyond the Paris deal to protect climate for the future generations. Apart from ways to enhance trade and business cooperation”, Modi and Trump are expected to discuss defence ties.
Sean Spicer cited “fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms and expanding security cooperation in the Indo- Pacific region” as shared priorities.
The Indo-Pacific region includes the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbours in multiple disputes over islands.
“President Trump and Prime Minister Modi will look to outline a common vision for the United States-India partnership that is worthy of their 1.6 billion citizens,” Spicer said. Trump invited Modi to Washington after the latter rang him in January to congratulate the new president on his inauguration.
“The president and the prime minister have had a number of positive phone conversations, and expect to further that discussion whether it’s economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism, expanding our cooperation as major defence partners,” Spicer said in response to a question.
The bilateral talks appear to be no bed of roses as they come amidst thorny issues like US’ plans to reduce the number of H-1B visa slots that are mainly used by Indian IT workers and its withdrawal from the historic climate accord.
A White House visit would signal a more business like meeting rather than a bonding session, unless Trump takes him on a jaunt around the US capital like former President Barack Obama had during Modi’s first visit to the US as Prime Minister.
“Prime Minister will hold official talks with President Trump on June 26. Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of and consolidation of multi-dimensional strategic partnership between India and the US,” the External Affairs ministry said.