India PM Narendra Modi (L) with US President Donald Trump
India PM Narendra Modi (L) with US President Donald Trump

The US-based policy research organisation Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in its internal communication released on February 18 said that the US President Donald Trump is visiting India with a clear set of objectives, a broad brush trade agreement to remove impediments hoping to win agreements on the sale of US defence and hydrocarbons.

At the same time, Trump will also expect to secure new investments from Indian conglomerates in not only in information technology services but in automobile and tractor manufacturing, aluminium recycling, exploration of hydrocarbons. The Centre hopes that India could put on the table that would not hurt the government's domestic base so dramatically and leads to job losses.

CSIS senior adviser Richard Rossow in the preview of Trump's visit to India observed that the personal data protection bill, which is under the review by a committee, is very concerning to a wide range of US businesses. ''You have seen India takes steps on trade matters that have worsened the environment and, in some ways, still kind of digging the hole deeper. I am sure the data protection bill is going to be raised formally and informally during the discussions, but part of the trade package seems unlikely just because it’s under review by the parliamentary committee,'' he noted.

Similarly, the Indian government in the budget has proposed tariff hikes which means that India would open itself up for a challenge at the World Trade Organisation. ''India may be willing to give some space on medical device price controls, some areas of agriculture market access, and maybe rolling back some of these retaliatory tariffs India put in place against the US,'' said Rossow.

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