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US President Donald Trump likes Prime Minister Modi but is saving trade deal for later

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 Feb 2020 7:10 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: With US President Donald Trump scheduled to come to India for a two-day official visit on February 24, a lot of experts are trying to anticipate what the visit will mean for India.

Trump had said that he was interested in doing a big trade deal with India but he wasn’t sure if the deal could be done before the elections.

“We’re not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot," he said, according to media reports.

"We can have a trade deal with India. But I'm really saving the big deal for later," he added.

It is important to note that, very recently the US had removed India from the Generalized System of Preferences programme, which allowed duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of annual exports to the US, on “lack of reciprocal market access” of US exports in Indian market”. The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

The Trump administration terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on June 5 last year. Recently Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said it was up to America to take a call on reinstating India’s status as a beneficiary of that programme while asserting India meets the criteria for trade concessions under the GSP.

Last year, during a Houston event Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Donald Trump had shared the stage.

Nikki Haley, the former US Ambassador to the UN who is an Indian-American, and Florida Republican Senator Ted Cruz hailed ‘HowdyModi’ event.

She tweeted, “The US and India have a great partnership and it has only strengthened with the friendship of DonaldTrump and Narendra Modi.” She retweeted Trump’s tweet that said: “The USA Loves India!” in response to the Indian Prime Minister’s Office ‘Howdy Modi’ video link.

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