The American business community is encouraged by the highest level of engagement between India and the US under the Trump administration and looks forward to elevate the ties even further, the head of a top American industry advocacy group has said. “We are encouraged to see that the two countries have had highest levels of engagement in the the first 100 days of the new (Trump) administration,” Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC), told PTI. As the Trump administration completely crossed the milestone of being in office for 100 days, Aghi said that the US-India relations continues to enjoy bipartisan support. “We look forward to elevating our ties even further,” he said based on the feedback he has been receiving from both the Trump administration and the Congress.
“President (Donald) Trump and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi have had conversations on the strategic importance of our ties and USIBC looks forward to working on the next round of the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue,” Aghi said. The next round of the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue is scheduled to be held later this year. Aghi said USIBC members are keen on investing in India as the country is witnessing political stability now. On the other hand, Richard M Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US India Policy Studies at Center for Strategic and International Studies, a top American think-tank, said the US and India are still trying to find a new set of issues to maintain the great momentum we have seen in the relationship in these last few years.
The past agenda- led by cooperation on climate change- is not likely to survive, he observed. “Even the defence relationship, filled with promise but with relatively little practical cooperation, may not be made a priority by the Trump administration,” said Rossow, who is a close observer of India-US relationship. “The economic relationship has already seen bumps, with Indian concerns about possible H1B visa limitations, contrasted with US concerns over new price controls on medical devices,” Rossow told PTI. “There will be a great deal of pressure on policy leaders from both sides to find common ground ahead of a leaders summit, expected this summer,” he said.
After being elected as the President in November, Trump has spoken thrice with Modi. The first cabinet-level interaction took place last month when the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley travelled to Washington to attend the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Both Trump and Modi have invited each other for a state visit. Officials are now working on a mutually convenient date.