Trade Tension, Energy Cooperation On Agenda In PM's US Visit: 10 Points

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first stop will be Houston on September 21, where he would preside over a roundtable with the CEOs of energy companies.

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Trade Tension, Energy Cooperation On Agenda In PM's US Visit: 10 Points

The White House said President Trump will join PM Modi at the Houston rally (File)

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is starting on Friday for a hectic week-long tour of the US that includes two meetings with US President Donald Trump, nearly 20 other bilaterals, and address at the UN General Assembly. India is clear, however, that despite the international focus on Kashmir, it would not be on PM Modi's agenda and any offer of mediation is off the table. Besides a bilateral meet, the Prime Minister will also share stage with US President Donald Trump at an event in Houston organised by Indian community. This is the third time PM Modi and President Trump will meet in three months - the two earlier occasions were the G-20 summit in Japan in June and the G-7 summit in France last month.
Here are ten points on PM Modi's US visit:
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first stop will be Houston on September 21, where he would preside over a roundtable with the CEOs of energy companies. "Energy is an important component in the Indo-US trade mix. We import approximately 4 billion dollars' worth of oil and gas from the US," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said today.
  2. On the evening of September 22, the Prime Minister will also address the "Howdy, Modi" -- an event organised in Houston by the expat Indians. US President Donald Trump will share stage with him in what is being seen as an acknowledgement of growing India-US ties.
  3. The White House said President Trump will join PM Modi at the Houston rally as a "special gesture" to underscore the bond between the two countries. The event will also feature US lawmakers, prominent Indian Americans and 400 artistes who will present a cultural show. Over 50,000 people have registered so far for the function.
  4. PM Modi and Mr Trump will also hold their big bilateral meeting on September 24, in which the ongoing trade tension between the two nations over tariffs is likely to come up. The White House has confirmed that President Trump will discuss ways to deepen the trade relationship between the two nations.
  5. The next day, the Prime Minister will attend an investment roundtable with 40 major companies. This will be crucial for India in view of the efforts to pull up the economic growth that has dropped to a five-year low. Recently, the government has eased FDI norms for ease of doing business, a move expected to contribute to its goal of expanding to a 5 trillion dollar economy over the next five years.
  6. Before concluding his visit on September 27, PM Modi will address the UN General Assembly, which will be followed by his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan. This is expected to draw eyeballs in view of the events concerning Jammu and Kashmir.
  7. India has reiterated its stand that the move in Jammu and Kashmir -- ending its special status and bifurcating it -- is an internal matter. This has the support from the US and other major powers, but the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir lockdown in Kashmir is attracting criticism, the European Union has said.
  8. "Article 370 is an internal issue. Terrorism is one among many issues. The focus will be on India's role at global stage, the Prime Minister will present his vision in this regard," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters today.
  9. PM Modi will also take part in a big climate summit in New York. The Prime Minister will showcase what India has done to address climate change issues and spell out our expectations and aspirations from the international community, Mr Gokhale said.
  10. Despite the recent tensions over trade, PM Modi and Donald Trump shared a warm personal rapport. In June, President Trump announced that he would cancel a preferential trade status for India that allowed imports to the tune of $5.6 billion to enter the US duty-free. India retaliated with tariff hikes on 28 American products that reportedly cost the US around $220 million.




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