US President Donald Trump and First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, are scheduled to arrive at the Sardar Vallabhai Airport in the home-state of PM Modi today. During his two-day visit, Trump will visit three Indian cities — Ahemdabad, Delhi and Agra. On Tuesday night, he will fly back to Washington.
On Day 1 today, Trump will address the ‘Namaste India’ event at the Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. POTUS will also inaugurate the world’s largest cricket stadium. Thereafter, Trump will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat. After a few engagements in the city, the Trumps will be flown to Agra for a visit to Taj Mahal. The US President will also meet his Indian counterpart — Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Trump is also scheduled to meet top Indian business leaders as part of a CEO roundtable at the US embassy before leaving India tomorrow.
Trump’s two-day visit to India is not just about theatrics. India and the US are looking at signing pacts in areas of intellectual property rights, defence deals, nuclear power cooperation and homeland security during Trump’s maiden visit to India.
Defence deals: India is set to finalise a long-pending defence deal with America, including procurement of a batch of military helicopters from American defence major Lockheed Martin at a cost of $ 2.6 billion. Last week, India cleared the purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R naval multirole helicopters of at a cost of about $2.12 billion through the US Foreign Military Sales programme. Besides, the US has also approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India (IADWS) at an estimated cost of $ 1.9 billion.
The bilateral defence trade between India and the US touched $ 18 billion mark in 2019, reflecting growing defence cooperation between the two sides.
Westinghouse-NPCI deal: US energy firm Westinghouse is expected to sign a new agreement with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCI) for the supply of six nuclear reactors. America has been discussing the sale of nuclear reactors to India since a 2008 landmark civil nuclear energy pact.
Energy pacts: India is also likely to discuss long-term Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deals during Trump’s visit as part of a strategy to promote a gas-based economy that may attract Rs 4 lakh crore in investments over the next five years. Also, during Trump’s visit, India expects the reinstatement of benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, which were withdrawn last June. The scheme allowed zero tariffs on exports to the US worth $5.6 billion.
India’ s Petronet LNG and American LNG developer Tellurian are also expected to sign a $2.5-billion deal during Trump’s visit. The President’s visit will also see the signing of an agreement between India Oil Corporation (IOC) and US energy firms ExxonMobil and Chart Industries to facilitate Modi government’s ambitious plan to supply clean fuel to remote areas without pipelines.