Thursday, July 29, 2021

Congress finds ”insult” in Trump’s remarks, Govt keen for a win-win trade deal

Nirendra Dev
New Delhi, February 19: On a day Congress tried to make use of US President Donald Trump’s remarks on India and trade deal ahead of his visit to India calling it an insult to country’s dignity, the government of India on Wednesday asserted that it is keen for “win win”pact but does no want it to be inked in hurry.
“The idea is to reach an understanding in trade with outcome that strikes right balance on both sides,” a key government source said here.
Both sides have on principle agreed that “We don’t want to rush in with a deal as the issues are complicated”.
“Many decisions on trade will have impact on people’s lives with long term consequences,” the source and in the know of things said.
“Essentially we do not want a deal that is taken on short term …..we would rather look to the future and seek to achieve win win situation on both sides,” the official said.
Donald Trump has triggered row with his usual remarks but hinted that trade deal would not be happening during his much hyped India visit on February 24 and 25.
“We can have a trade deal with India but I am really saving the big trade deal for later on. We are doing a very big trade deal with India. We will have it.
I don’t know whether we will have it before the election, but we will have a very big deal with India,” Trump has said.
He also said — “We are not treated very well by India but I happen to like Prime Minister Narendra Modi a lot and he told me seven million people between the airport and the event. So it’s going to be very exciting” – in reference to his visit to Ahmedabad.
Congress spokesman and MP, Manish Tewari said Trump’s remarks were uncalled for.
“The President of the United States, on the eve of his visit for the first time to India, has made certain remarks. I think it is an insult and affront to the dignity of the country and the Ministry of External Affairs should respond to it”.
Meanwhile, sources have said here that as for strategic ties between India and the US, any major defence deal or defence acquisition should not be linked to Trump’s visit or any such high level visits.
“Defence acquisition is only an ongoing process not linked to visits,” the source said, however Indian side is hopeful of some of the defence deals including on helicopters.
The deal for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the India Navy may be announced during Trump’s visit – which critics say is actually linked to US Presidential elections.
In the meantime, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said “We expect several senior members of the President’s cabinet to accompany”.
This will be Mr Trump’s fifth meeting with PM Modi in just a gap of eight months after Osaka, Biarritz, Houston and New York.
“This only reflects the renewed intensity of high-level bilateral engagement since the NDA government returned to power,” he said.