Editorial: Welcome Trump

The White House announced on Monday that US President Donald Trump will visit India from February 24 to 25 to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will make the trip to strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership, according to a White House statement. In what will be his first visit to India since he took office, Trump will make stops in the capital New Delhi and Gujarat.

China is going through one of its worst economic phases in recent years after the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak. India must work to get the best out of Trump’s visit on economic and strategic issues. India’s opportunity to emerge as the fulcrum of economic growth in Asia is now.

The United States is India’s second-largest trade partner after China, and bilateral goods and services trade climbed to a record $142.6 billion in 2018. The United States had a $23.2 billion goods trade deficit in 2019 with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods. India has offered to allow imports of US chicken legs, turkey and produce such as blueberries and cherries, government sources said.

In just the past three years, the Trump government has offered India armed drones and integrated air and missile defence technology, both of which were denied by the Barack Obama regime on grounds they would alter the balance with Pakistan.

It is essential for USA to send a message to Asian region that India is a significant partner. India has a role to play not only in its immediate neighbourhood but in making sure that the South China Sea and the Indo Pacific region is part of the international global order.

NT Bureau