US President Donald Trump began his two-day India trip in Ahmedabad on Monday. On his first visit to the country while in office, Trump is accompanied by his wife, Melania, and a slew of officials from his administration, including his daughter and adviser, Ivanka.
In the high-profile visit, Trump will address a sizeable crowd at Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visit the Taj Mahal in Agra and conclude the trip in Delhi on Tuesday.
However, a trade deal with India during the visit has been ruled out, with the US president saying that a “big deal” will be signed later. “Well, we can have a trade deal with India, but I’m really saving the big deal for later on. We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India.”
Earlier, Trump has decried India for its trade surplus with the United States. He has also gone on to brand India “king of tariffs”. The two countries have imposed tariffs on each other’s imports, while in a big blow to India, the United States took it off its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that gave India certain privileges in trading with the United States.
India has since been wanting to get back on the GSP, but without success.
However, the United States’ trade deficit with India is well below a slew of other countries and at $23 billion is completely dwarfed by the humongous $346 billion deficit it runs with China.
Even much smaller economies than India’s have a bigger trade surplus with the United States. Both Malaysia and Switzerland have a surplus of $27 billion.
Spices, rice and essential oils contribute the major chunk of Indian exports to the United States, while India is the biggest importer of California almonds.
India imported $600 million worth of California almonds in 2018. Apart from almonds, India imports fruits, nuts, legumes, cotton and dairy products from the United States.
Further, US direct investment in India has seen a steady rise over the years.
The United States’ direct investment in India came in at a paltry $2.38 billion, according to statistics website. It had ballooned to $24.67 billion a decade later, in 2010. The figure has nearly doubled since, with the US direct investment in the country coming in at $45.98 billion in 2018.
India will look to attract more investments from the world’s largest economy with the welcoming red carpet laid out for the 45
th United States president.
Follow LIVE updates from Donald Trump's India visit here