New Delhi (Sputnik): As India is gearing up to welcome US President Donald Trump on 24 February, there has been skepticism both in New Delhi and Washington about the possible benefits of the high-profile visit, the first by Trump.
A week ahead of his scheduled visit to India, US President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction over US-India trade ties saying “We’re not treated very well by India”, but, expressed his admiration for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We’re not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot. And he told me we’ll have 7 million people between the airport and the event. And the stadium, I understand, is sort of semi under construction, but it’s going to be the largest stadium in the world. So it’s going to be very exciting. I hope you all enjoy it”, said Trump to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Washington on Tuesday afternoon (local time).
Though there is uncertainty over any big-ticket trade deal between the two nations during next week’s trip, Trump said he was saving the “the big deal” with India for later, but was uncertain if it would be done before the presidential election in November.
“Well, we can have a trade deal with India, but I’m really saving the big deal for later on. We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India”, Trump added.
Earlier this week, the White House said Trump and Modi had a telephone conversation and agreed the US president’s visit would further enhance the strategic partnership between Washington and New Delhi, and the two would likely sign a trade deal.
The US and India have bilateral trade to the tune of more than $140 billion, but recent disputes over trade, immigration, and technology have led to a strained relationship.
Other factors that have put the deal on the backburner could be recent developments by the US, claiming that India was a “developed country” and did not require a number of trade concessions and the Indian side imposing a 5 percent tax on medical imports.
Ahead of Trump’s visit on 24-25 February, India is working in full swing to prepare the world’s largest cricket stadium for a public reception in Ahmedabad. A pet project of Narendra Modi, the stadium has a seating capacity of 110,000 and is being constructed at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion.