US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who'll come to India on a state visit on June 24-26, cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's famous election slogan, 'Modi hai to mumkin hai' (Modi makes it possible), to express the US' willingness to address trade issues with India. Citing the slogan, he said the US was looking forward to exploring "what's possible" between the United States and India. During his visit to India, Pompeo is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Modi and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. The top leaders will likely discuss the issues of rising trade tensions between India and the US.
The top American diplomat, in his speech at the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council on Wednesday, said: "As Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi said in his latest campaign, 'Modi hai to mumkin hai,'' or 'Modi makes it possible'', I am looking forward to exploring what's possible between the US and India."
"I am very much looking forward to his trip to New Delhi later this month, and meeting PM Modi, and his new counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar," he said, adding the US and India had a unique opportunity to move forward together. Pompeo said it's natural that the world's most populous democracy should partner with the world's oldest democracy to maintain a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific. "...a vision that reinforces democratic values through partnership, economic openness, liberty and sovereignty," he said at the event.
Pompeo's remarks came amid trade-related frictions between the US and several other countries, including India and China. US President Donald Trump has been pursuing aggressive trade policies against both the countries stating that they have taken undue advantage of the US. In the past year, Trump imposed huge tariffs on China, hitting billions of dollars of import of Chinese products.
This month, Trump officially terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP (Generalised System of Preference) trade programme. The White House in a statement said India had not assured the United States that it would provide "equitable and reasonable access" to its markets, which was why the Trump administration had taken the action. India was the largest beneficiary of the programme in 2017 with $5.6 billion worth of exports to the US being given duty-free status, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued in January. On Monday, Donald Trump had said India's import tariff duty on Harley Davidson motorcycles was "unacceptable", though he acknowledged his "good friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slashed the duty by half.