Commerce, energy secretaries & NSA are part of team to India
The first stand-alone visit by a US President, a high-powered White House delegation that includes three of President Donald Trump’s family members, the first time that First Lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka are travelling together on an official visit, and a meeting right in the middle of an election campaign that comes after five earlier meetings between Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi — a headline trade deal may be off the table but officials in New Delhi underline how these firsts underline the deepening of the India-US strategic partnership.
During their India visit on February 24-25, Team Trump will travel to Ahmedabad and then to Agra, where they will visit the Taj Mahal, and Delhi. As per official sources, the delegation includes the Trump family: Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Ivanka and Kushner are advisers to the US President. Ivanka Trump had come to Hyderabad in November 2017 to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Modi’s invitation.
“This is a very personalised administration and the fact is that the US President can take over-riding decisions, he came all the way to Houston for the Prime Minister’s town hall and now this visit with his family…this underlines the importance both sides accord to the deepening relationship,” said a top official.
Other heavyweights in the delegation (as of now) will include: Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, energy secretary Dan Brouillette, national security advisor Robert C O’Brien and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney among others. It is expected that all these ministers will meet their counterparts, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan and NSA Ajit Doval during their visit.
As NSA O ‘Brien will meet his counterpart NSA Ajit Doval, a key agreement on Homeland security is likely to be signed. Aviation security, immigration security, and combating transnational crime and terrorism will be the key components of this pact, sources told The Indian Express. Sources said an MoU on cooperation in homeland security is likely to be signed between US department of homeland security and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The MoU will strengthen and coordinate the two countries’ efforts on homeland security cooperation, cybercrime, global supply chain security, border security, immigration security, and combating translational crime and terrorism, sources said. This will be within the framework of US-India Homeland Security Dialogue established in 2011.
The areas of cooperation under the MoU will include border, immigration and global supply chain security, law enforcement investigative cooperation, aviation security.