Modi, as was expected, raised the issue of cross-border terrorism with President Trump but that did not find a mention in the joint statement.
“During my campaign I pledged if elected India will have true friend in White House and that’s now exactly what you have – a true friend”, Trump said while speaking to the press. India accuses Pakistan-based militants of launching attacks on its soil. “Fighting terrorism and doing away with the safe shelters, sanctuaries, and safe havens will be an important part of our cooperation”.
Working together, I truly believe our two countries can set an example for many other nations. While India was keen to understand US’ stand towards China and the role it intends to play there, USA urged India to have a stand on the South China issue. And he has railed against the visa program that brings tens of thousands of Indian workers to the US every year, saying companies should hire more Americans. He added that “destroying terrorists and safe havens will be our aim”.
On defense, Trump said the U.S. and India were “both determined to destroy terrorist organizations“.
When Modi meets Trump on Tuesday, the news channels will go to town about Modi being the first PM to have dinner with Trump.
The two leaders are expected to push for closer co-operation on defence and worldwide security.
“I want to make a point here that United States relationships with India and Pakistan really stand on their own merits and terms”, a senior administration official said.
But ever since Trump entered the White House, he has promoted his “hire American buy American” philosophy which could effect the current H-1B program, hurting India’s IT outsourcing and its economy overall.
“In an uncertain global economic landscape, our two nations stand as mutually reinforcing engines of growth and innovation”. “It is important that that we reduce our trade deficit with your country”, he added.
Modi said there was no reason for the U.S. and India to be rivals, stressing that both he and Trump shared a joint desire to increase productivity, growth and job creation. Before their meeting began, he thanked India for ordering military equipment from the US.
I was pleased to learn about an Indian Airlines recent order of 100 new American planes, one of the largest orders of its kind, which will support thousands and thousands of American jobs. “The creative and entrepreneurial energy of our engineers, scientists and researchers, and their free movement between both countries, continue to help India and the USA retain their innovation edge and maintain competitiveness in the knowledge economy”. “Trying to get the price up a little bit”, he said.
Modi in turn said India “would maintain close consultation and communication with the US” to achieve the joint goal of “peace and stability”. Creating great new opportunities for your citizens.
Ahead of his first meeting with the US president, Mr Modi hailed the increasing “convergence” of US-Indian interests and values, in an opinion piece appearing in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.
Both Trump and Modi have tried to boost domestic manufacturing in their own country.
“But frankly, the priorities are different and the nature of the relationships are different”, the official said.