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President Trump India Visit: Will the famed personal chemistry do the needful?

President Trump India Visit: Will the famed personal chemistry do the needful?
Highlights

The scheduled two-day visit of US President Donald Trump, on February 24-25, 2020, has already raised the temperature both in India and America.

The scheduled two-day visit of US President Donald Trump, on February 24-25, 2020, has already raised the temperature both in India and America. With PM Narendra Modi declaring the visit 'A Special One' and US President Trump interacting with scribes at White House said, "he (Modi) is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India" reported PTI from Washington. Now all eyes are fixed on the possibilities of the visit of the US president.

It was natural for the media in White House, with whom he was interacting, immediately pounced on the opportunity and asked about the existing trade differences between the two countries. Trump, as if he was expecting the question, suggested that a trade deal with India 'is possible if it is the right one.' He was categorical about his intention when he said, "they want to do something and we will see if we can make the right deal, will do it."

Such a statement well before the visit has already sparked the expectation. The verbatim shall be seen in the context as officials of both the countries are busy negotiating to ease the disputes providing impediments to the further growth of trade and commerce between the two countries. Naturally, India and the US will try to reach some agreement in the interest of both the countries.

PM Narendra Modi in his tweet has also mentioned that both the US and India share a commonality that is democracy. The tweet also said, "Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues."

Last year The Economic Times in its report said Indo-US bilateral trade has a huge potential and could reach $280 billion in the next five years. The report had also hinted that top officials of both the countries were busy holding discussions to finish the trade differences.

The US wants that India should allow larger market reach to its farm and manufacturing products, medical equipment and dairy products. Besides, import duty cut on some ICT products.

India on its side is demanding renewal of export benefits on particular domestic products under the generalised system of preferences, smoother penetration for agricultural, engineering, automobile and auto component products. Besides, it is also insistent on the exemption from increased duties forced on some steel and aluminium products. India had sharply reacted and enforced tit-for-tat tariffs on 28 US products which included almonds and apples last year after preferential trade privileges were withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the trade tension reached new highs when last year US President described the tariffs levied by Delhi, "no longer acceptable," despite both the leaders share a very visible personal bonhomie.

The US exports to India apart from the oil and natural gas, which started last year are machinery, organic chemicals, medical equipment, aircraft and aviation tools and of course the defence hardware, not to forget.

India mainly exports to the US are jewellery, precious gemstones, some chemicals, engineering goods, IT and agricultural products.

Speaking to PTI the current ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has said, President Trump's forthcoming visit is a reflection of the strong personal rapport' they share. He further added, "It also demonstrates their strong desire to take the relationship to new heights"

It is for sure the words are very encouraging from both sides. It is now time for both sides to come to the negotiating table with a positive frame of mind and sort out the trade differences thus confirming the personal relation, which will be better for both the economies.

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