INTERNATIONAL

India is asking for a trade deal due to our tough policies: Trump

India has asked for a trade deal with the U.S. due to his tough policies, President Donald Trump told his supporters.

Addressing a rally in South Dakota on Friday, he said countries have learned to respect the U.S. now. “India called us the other day. They said they want to do a trade deal. They wouldn’t talk about that with previous administrations. They were very happy at the way it was. And my trade representative who was very tough and very smart... he said, why are you calling? They said, because of President Trump. I was going to wait a little while. But they want it soon.”

India and the U.S. are negotiating several trade issues, and the talks are in a stalemate as U.S Trade Representative (USTR) has demanded a commitment from India to make additional purchases worth $10 billion annually for the next three years.

Strategic convergence

Just as U.S Secretaries of State and Defense, Mike Pompeo and James Mattis respectively, left New Delhi after the first 2+2 dialogue that sought to reiterate the strategic convergence between the two countries after in the face of assertive China, the President put China and India in the same bracket, yet again.

Speaking at a separate event in North Dakota, Mr. Trump said: “We have some of these countries that are called growing economies. So we are paying them subsidies. The whole thing is crazy...

“They say like, India, China…they are growing... They call themselves developing nations and under that category they get subsidies. We have to pay them money. The whole thing is crazy.” It is unclear what he was referring to.

Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, told reporters on the conference call on Monday that the U.S was working with India, Japan and Australia to keep Asia safe and secure.

“Both sides agreed that fair and reciprocal trade crucial to the prosperity of our peoples,” Ms. Wells said.