US President Donald Trump's maiden India visit in limbo; no final word from White House, says ambassador

US President Donald Trump's maiden India visit in limbo; no final word from White House, says ambassador

US President Donald Trump’s maiden India visit has come under a cloud after an Indian envoy said that “no official announcement” has been made on such a proposed trip as yet.

Last month, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said that Trump will visit the Sabarmati riverfront during his India trip in February.

Addressing an election rally in north Delhi’s Shastri Nagar, Rupani had said that the US President will also visit the Sabarmati riverfront like Japanese and Israeli prime ministers.

However, US Ambassador to India K Juster earlier today said: “On the potential visit by President Trump, that’s really something that you will have to refer back to Washington on this. No official announcement has been made yet on such a visit. I know that the President has expressed his interest in visiting India.”

Earlier, government sources had said that Indian and US officials were in talks to finalise the dates of Trump’s India visit. “Both sides are in discussions to finalise the dates,” a source was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Trump’s maiden visit to India
Trump’s first visit to India has been on cards for some time now and the US President had also expressed his interest in visiting the country when he had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January.

During the conversation, Trump had also expressed a desire to continue to work with PM Modi to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The US President had also expressed satisfaction at the achievements in the relationship in the last few years and reiterated his readiness for further deepening bilateral cooperation, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

According to reports, India had invited Trump to grace the Republic Day parade as chief guest. However, Trump could not plan his India visit on January 24-26 due to scheduling issues.

Trade deal
Though the final dates of Trump’s India visit are not announced yet, the two sides are expected to arrive at a trade pact soon to iron out issues and promote two-way commerce.

In September last year, the US President had said his country will soon have a trade deal with India to boost economic ties between the two nations.

“I think very soon. We are doing very well. (US Trade Representative) Robert Lighthizer who is right here negotiating with India … I think, very soon we will have a trade deal,” Trump told reporters when asked if there is any trade deal is expected in the talks between India and the US on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

The two countries have been negotiating a trade package for months with the US pressuring India to lower duties on its products and address the trade gap while New Delhi is demanding exemption from high duties imposed on certain steel and aluminium products, PTI reported.

India-US trade ties
In 2018-19, India’s exports to the US were USD 52.4 billion, while imports stood at USD 35.5 billion. Trade deficit dipped from USD 21.3 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.9 billion in 2018-19.

India received FDI worth USD 3.13 billion from the US in 2018-19, higher than USD 2 billion in 2017-18.

By: Times Now News