As Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds his first meeting with US President Donald Trump today, all eyes will be on the two world leaders as they sit and dicuss a host of critical issues.
From cyber security to counter-terrorism, Modi is likely to take up for discussion issues of significant interest to India and the United States.
In his fifth visit to the United States as the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi met CEOs of top American companies on Sunday and asked them to invest in India. Modi discussed the launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the CEOs and called it a game-changer that could well be a subject of study in US business schools.
A LOOK AT FIVE ISSUES THAT NARENDRA MODI IS LIKELY TO TAKE UP WITH DONALD TRUMP:
Both New Delhi and Washington have been partners in the fight against global terrorism. Under Donald Trump, the US is seen to be hardening its stance on Pakistan and terrorism.
In its ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’, the Donald Trump government blamed Pakistan for the “deterioration of bilateral relations between New Delhi and Islamabad”. The US assessment had come days after India accused a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) of killing and mutilating two Indian jawans near the Line of Control.
Pakistan’s role in supporting and financing terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the India-Iran-US trilateral meetings on bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan are likely to be discussed in detail.
The Trump-Modi meeting comes in the backdrop of the US pulling out of the Paris climate accord and alleging that the deal was not tough on India and China.
Narendra Modi has maintained that India would go beyond the Paris climate deal to push for environment protection. Therefore, it would not be unlikely if Modi broaches the subject with Donald Trump during the meet.
Members of the Indian community in the United States want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the issue of H-1B visas with Donald Trump.
The executive order signed by Donald Trump in April called for a review of H-1B visas by the departments of State, Labour, Homeland Security and Justice.
Indian tech majors like Infosys, Wipro and TCS, which run successful business in America could be hit with a change in the H-1B visa policy.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier raised the H-1B visa issue with US Commerce Secretary during his visit to the US in April and discussed the contribution of skilled Indian professionals to the US economy.
CHINA AND OBOR
Given both India and US’s not-so-friendly ties with China, Beijing’s growing influence in Asia could be a point of discussion between Narendra Modi and Donald Trump.
Beijing’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is likely to come up for discussion between the two world leaders. India, which recently skipped the OBOR Summit, has been opposing the mega project on the ground that it compromises the territorial integrity of the countries it cover. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key part of OBOR, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The India-US bilateral trade stands at nearly USD 115 billion. Defence and strategic tie-ups could be on Modi-Trump’s table as the two meet today.
Ahead of Modi’s visit to the US, the latter cleared the sale of 22 predator Guardian drones, which is billed as a force multiplier that will boost the Indian Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Modi would also like the US to support New Delhi in its Make in India initiative after Lockheed Martin agreed to jointly build F-16 fighter jets with Tata Advanced Systems.