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Modi to meet Trump at White House
June 26, 2017, 8:54 am

Will Modi be able to sell Make in India to Trump’s America First? [Xinhua]

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the White House on Monday, he will try to sell US President Donald Trump on the idea that IT talent from the home country is in America’s best interests.

For years, the US has issued the H1B non-immigrant work visa to tens of thousands of Indians, largely from the telecom and IT sector, to the benefit of major multi-billion dollar US-based companies – such as the ones in tech-mecca Silicon Valley.

But Modi will have his work cut out for him – and some analysts believe the issue may be shelved altogether.

Delhi has eyed with curiosity Trump’s rhetoric on immigration policies. His “Make America Great Again” slogan has been largely based on restricting immigration to the US and ensuring that US companies not only manufacture within the country but also make local hires.

Trump has also previously criticized India for its role in securing the rights of Third World countries during the 2015 Paris Climate Change Accords.

During his White House speech announcing his withdrawal from the Accords in early June, Trump zeroed in on India and accused it of trying to strong-arm the international community into paying billions of dollars in exchange for Delhi’s signature on the Accords.

Prior to his withdrawal from the Accords, Trump said: “Our government rushed to join international agreements where the US bears the costs and bears the burden while other countries get the benefit and pay nothing and this includes deals like the one-sided Paris Climate Accord. where the US pays billions while China, Russia and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing.”

That is at loggerheads with India’s position. Delhi has long held that the goal of minimizing global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius over the next decades from pre-industrial times will require a commitment from developed countries to “massively” reduce their emissions and boost their financial support to developing countries.

The American president is also likely not to thrilled by the fact that India has a $24 billion trade surplus with the US. He has previously accused Delhi of “stealing” US jobs by paving the way for manufacturers to leave America and set up shop in India.

While Trump may not be big on the idea of setting up shop in India, others – such as Google and Microsoft – are keen to continue doing business there.

On Sunday, Modi Tweeted that he had met with top CEOs to promote India’s business-friendly approach to global trade and investment.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies