PM Modi-Donald Trump Meet Today, Focus Likely On Trade Issues: 10 Points

OSAKA (JAPAN): United States President Donald Trump is among 10 world leaders expected to hold bilateral meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the two-day G20 Summit that begins today. The interaction between the two leaders is significant in view of the multiple disagreements that have cropped up between India and the US, including trade tariffs and an arms deal with Russia. Upon landing in Osaka for the summit yesterday morning, PM Modi was greeted with a warm hug by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The two leaders also held a bilateral summit to discuss a range of subjects, including the bullet train project and fugitive economic offenders.
Here are the top 10 ten developments expected to happen today.
PM Modi’s bilateral meet with Donald Trump is expected to be crucial as the two nations seek to make a breakthrough in their ongoing trade dispute. New Delhi had slapped tariffs on 28 products from the United States earlier this month in response to Washington withdrawing its long-standing trade concessions to India on June 1.
However, going by a social media post put up by the US President yesterday, he is expected to play hardball. “I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!” he had tweeted.
Government sources, in response, told news agency Reuters that India’s tariffs are not as high as other developing countries. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal maintained that the central government will not allow trade negotiations to overtake “issues of national interest”.
Another issue expected to come up at the bilateral meet between PM Modi and Donald Trump is the United States’ opposition to the $5-billion defence deal for S-400 air defence systems between India and Russia. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had earlier said that India will be guided by its own interests on the matter.
The US has demanded the cancellation of the military deal with Russia, which concerns the sale of S-400 Triumf missile defence systems to India, failing which it would risk American sanctions. New Delhi is seeking a waiver, so it can go ahead with the $5 billion purchase.
Over the next two days, PM Modi will attend the Japan-America-India trilateral, the Russia-India-China meet and a meeting of BRICS leaders. The first trilateral meet is part of the United States’ efforts to bring together countries wary of China’s rising economic and military might in Asia.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale claimed that PM Modi’s meet with Shinzo Abe yesterday was “warm”, and the two leaders had a “very constructive and detailed discussion” on the Indo-Japanese bilateral relationship. “They spoke about the importance of focussing on global economy,” he said, adding that the Japanese Prime Minister also dwelt on the subject of fugitive economic offenders.
PM Modi later outlined his government’s goals at a gathering of the Indian community in Kobe. “Over the next five years, we want to make India a $5 trillion economy… 50,000 start-ups in 5 years is the goal. Digital literacy is increasing and digital transactions are at a record high,” he said amid loud applause.
Before leaving for Japan, PM Modi had said that the two-day Osaka summit will be an important stepping stone for India towards hosting the G20 summit in 2022, “when we usher in a New India in the 75th anniversary year of our Independence”.
The G20 is an international financial forum comprising 19 nations and the European Union. It focuses on pressing financial and economic issues, seeking to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.

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