On US President Trump’s India Visit

The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the US President’s upcoming India visit: Will the spectacle of Trump visit without a trade deal boost India-US ties?

The US-India relationship over the last four years has been a case of one step forward, two steps backwards. The convergence on the threat posed by China has led to a deepening of military ties between the countries with the operationalisation of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

At the same time, both the US and India have been unable to move forward on the issue of trade. While the Donald Trump administration has hung on to notions of ‘reciprocity’, the Narendra Modi government has raised import tariffs and pushed itself into a corner. Trump’s position on Pakistan has also changed; the plan to reduce and eventually withdraw US troops from Afghanistan is contingent on an understanding with Pakistan. Finally, India’s falling economic growth trajectory has restricted our ability to negotiate both with the US and China.

Trump’s visit is unlikely to change any of these structural factors. Apart from a few defence purchase agreements, there is little to look forward to the US president’s tour.

Read the entire discussion on ThePrint.in here.