Trump begins first official trip in India

A handout photo made available by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C-R) welcoming US President Donald J. Trump (C-L) and US First Lady Melania Trump (C) upon their arrival in Ahmedabad, India, 24 February 2020. US President Trump is on a two-day state visit to India, and will visit the three Indian cities of Ahemdabad, Delhi and Agra and is scheduled to have the bilateral talks with top India leadership. during his talks, Trmp is expected to dicuss intellectual property rights, defence deals, nuclear power cooperation. EPA-EFE/MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS / HANDOUT

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US President Donald Trump on Monday arrived for his first official trip of India with a focus on deepening ties between the world’s two largest democracies.

Mr Trump arrived in Gujarat, home state of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he is expected to address a rally at a cricket stadium.

He will then travel to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, before arriving in the capital Delhi for talks with Mr Modi.

But amid the fanfare, a much-talked about trade deal is unlikely to happen.

India prepares for upcoming Donald Trump's visit
Indian policemen stand next to a billboard welcoming US President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad, India. EPA-EFE/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

The US is one India’s most important trade partners, with bilateral trade totalling $142.6bn (£110.3bn) in 2018. The US had a $25.2bn goods and services trade deficit with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.

Despite growing political and strategic ties, there’s been tension over trade issues. Mr Trump has said India’s tariffs – taxes on imports – are “unacceptable”, and has described India as the “king” of tariffs.

Indian officials say Mr Trump’s visit would be “brief but intense” during which the two sides are expected to sign a clutch of other agreements relating to intellectual property rights, trade and homeland security.

In a clear sign of ever closer defence relations, India is expected to sign two big deals with the US to acquire 30 American defence helicopters – MH-60R Seahawk and AH-64E Apache – worth more than $2.6bn.

Also, the US energy firm Westinghouse is expected to sign a new agreement with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the supply of six nuclear reactors, according to Reuters news agency. The US has been discussing the sale of nuclear reactors to India since a 2008 landmark civil nuclear energy deal.

Read more via BBC/Times of India

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