Ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s meeting was scheduled to meet with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday.
His meeting with PMO India had the discussion over several concerning aspects which included the to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership. Also, he met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at South Block in New Delhi. Their discussion revolved around sensitive topics such as terrorism and defense, along with other added issues.
Before the scheduled bilateral relationship talk between India and US, diplomatic sources informed the press that India meets the US disclaimer criteria for obtaining the S-400 missile defense system from sanctions-hit Russia and cited that New Delhi could not escape its defense ties with Moscow.
Mike Pompeo’s Visit To India: THE INSIGHT
On Tuesday S Jaishankar said, “there would be talks on trade issues during Pompeo’s visit. We will be meeting with a positive attitude.”
He further added, “We have our interests, and the US has their own, sometimes they converge, and sometimes they don’t. Diplomacy is about finding common ground on these interests.”
Speaking about the same to The Indian Express, sources in the ministry had shown that the meeting would merely establish a working relationship of sorts between the two countries, rather than make attempts at resolving issues.
On the circumstance emerging out of the US’s decision to terminate exemptions from US sanctions to buy oil from Iran (on which India had relied till now), diplomatic sources told PTI that a decision would be taken based on India’s energy security and commercial considerations.
India will resume to engage with the US on how it can help India get alternative supplies, the diplomatic sources added.
The update is so, Pompeo has a plan to make a policy speech at the US Embassy, before he leaves for the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
PM Modi and US President Donald Trump are presumed to meet on the sidelines of the summit.
Mike Pompeo’s Visit To India: THE PRESENT SCENARIO
It hasn’t been a while (for Mike Pompeo to visit India) to the incident when the US withdrew India from its preferential trade list; Before the declaration, India used to impose retaliatory tariffs on 28 items imported from the US.
Subordinately, Pompeo, in his address during the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council on 12 June, stated, “trade barriers and data localization requirements are issues of significant concern in their trade engagement with India.”
“The US had in March 2018 imposed 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent import duty on aluminum products. Earlier, there was no duty on these goods,” he added.
As India is one of the main exporters of these items to the US, the move has a wealth implication of about $240 million on domestic steel and aluminum products.
Aside from it, the US is also reportedly toughening rules for the H1-B visas for countries that force foreign corporations to store data locally. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US corporations to employ foreign workers in specialty jobs that need theoretical or technical expertise.
— ANI (@ANI) June 26, 2019
Mike Pompeo’s Visit To India: THE CONTRADICTION
On the occasion of Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi, a top US legislator had asked him to inform the Indian government a “predictable, coherent and consistent” strategy that will help the bilateral relationship attain its full potential. The emphasis was on the strength of ties which cannot be boiled down to trade shortfalls and tariffs. (PTI)
In a letter to Pompeo on Monday, Congressman Eliot L Engel, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, had written, “the Trump administration’s policies have not only failed to advance the US’s objectives but have also introduced significant friction in its partnership with New Delhi.”
“I am deeply concerned by the inconsistencies between the administration’s rhetoric and actions toward India, which are further exacerbated by the lack of a confirmed assistant secretary more than two years into this administration’s term.”
Eliot L Engel, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs
He said tensions have developed over each side’s tariff policies, starting with the US tariffs on steel and aluminum.
There is a rising view that the presidency is trying to constrain India into complying with the US demands on a range of issues, rather than negotiating with them as a strategic partner, Engel said.
News inputs from PTI & ANI