Trump’s India visit: Rallies and
realpolitik (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: International Relation
Prelims level: F-15EX Eagle fighters
Mains level: Bilateral agreements between countries
Unlike other global leaders who enjoy the pomp and circumstance of
making state visits, US President Donald Trump is a reluctant traveller.
But he seems to be looking forward to his India visit, describing it
with typical Trumpian hyperbole and saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
already pledged to have, “five-million-to-seven-million people between the
airport and the stadium” in Ahmedabad.
Trump’s also excited about the rally at the new Motera cricket stadium,
which has the world’s biggest seating capacity.
Rallies and realpolitik:
With the 2020 elections looming and a large Indian-American population
at home, he’s seeing this as his “Howdy Trump!” moment that will ‘trump’ all
previous US presidential visits.
The Ahmedabad rally is tentatively called ‘kem chho Trump’ or ‘how are
you, Trump?’, clearly harking back to the “Howdy Modi” rally.
But the optics of the rally may not be enough to paper over differences
between negotiators with the US last year stripping India of its “developing
country” tag, meaning Indian exports can’t have duty-free US entry.
The US argues that any country with over 0.5 per cent of global trade
and also a G20 member, is “developed.”
Talks are also stumbling on US demands for India to grant more access to
its farm products.
Already, farmers’ bodies are demanding that India not cede an inch to
the US on agriculture.
The dairy sector is particularly worried about allowing in US produce
which they argue is subsidised massively.
On the defence front, though, the US and India appear nearer agreement
with reports the navy may buy Seahawk helicopters from Lockheed Martin
costing $2.6 billion. Boeing may also offer us the F-15EX Eagle fighters.
India is looking at buying up to 114 fighters in a deal that is
potentially worth almost $18 billion, but that will take some time to
Also, the US has agreed to allow India to buy an Integrated Air Defence
Weapon System which costs $1.9 billion.
Bilateral defence business reached $18 billion in 2019 and India’s now
designated a ‘Major Defence Partner’.
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has attacked e-commerce giant
Amazon yet again, saying its losses don’t “look and feel and smell right.”
He said he hoped the government won’t have to “go down the path of
finding whether anybody is breaking the law.” This, however, could please
Trump as he’s no fan of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
Also, many countries have become wary of a Trump visit because he can
lash out unpredictably.
The only country which appears to have cracked the formula is Saudi
Arabia which has used large dollops of flattery to win him over.
But at the end of the day, Indian negotiators will have their job cut
out protecting India’s economic interests.
Q.1) With reference to the ‘e-Credentials / e-Certificates, consider the
following statements: 1. e-Credentials are an electronic scheme-based standard for describing
credentials data in a machine-readable format along with its printable
human-friendly version to make credential exchange between digital agents open
2. Certificates issued according to this specification can be aligned to one or
more educational standards.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) None of the above
Q.1) The optics of Trump’s visit may be all smiles and waves, but India
shouldn’t forget that he is a tough negotiator on trade. Critically comment.