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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had arrived in New Delhi on his three-day visit to the country to strengthen strategic ties between the two nations ahead of Modi and Trump meets in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of G-20 Summit and discussed agenda for the US-India strategic partnership.

Mike Pompeo meeting with PM Modi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on 26th June and discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership.

The US Secretary of State’s talks with the Indian leadership are the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the return of the Modi government to power last month.

Some of the topics focus during Pompeo’s visit:-

  • We can keep energy at right prices and deter terror threat: Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, “We all know that Iran is world’s largest state sponsor of terror and Indian people have suffered from terror around the world. We’ve a shared understanding of threat and a common purpose to ensure that we can keep energy at right prices and deter this threat, reports news agency ANI.

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on ‘trade disputes & S-400 -US wants India to embrace fair and reciprocal trade, lower barriers

The Trump Administration wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lower the trade barriers and embrace “fair and reciprocal” trade. “There is enormous potential to grow our trade relationship and create the high-quality jobs that Prime Minister Modi wants if India lowers trade barriers and embraces fair and reciprocal trade,” according to a State Department Fact Sheet.

  • Express strong commitment to achieve full potential of India-US ties:PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi thanked US secretary of state Mike Pompeo amid activity-packed bilateral talks and underlined the relations it shares with US.

  • India’s interest has been shared with US:Jaishankar on US-Iran ties

Talking about US-Iran issues, S Jaishankar said, “We discussed the situation in the Gulf, I shared our interests and concerns with Secretary Pompeo, energy security is part of it but there are other concerns as well about diaspora, regional security and trade.” He confirmed that Chabahar did not come up in the talks today because India does not an outstanding concern there at the moment.

  • India-US have bolstered defence cooperation:Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “US-India partnership is already beginning to reach new heights, we have bolstered our defence cooperation, we have solidified our common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific. We have grown cooperation in energy, space and other areas”.

  • Great friends are bound to have disagreements:Pompeo on India-UStrade

Underlining that two countries are involved in trade with somebody, issues will surface, Mike Pompeo said, “We address trade differences between trade in good spirit. “ On trade issues, S Jaishankar said, “If you trade with somebody and particularly if they’re your biggest trading partners, it is impossible that you do not have trade issues. The sign of a mature relationship is your ability to negotiate the way through that relationship. Perhaps, it has not been as effective as it could and should have been in the recent past. We both are leaving this meeting convinced that we will tell our countries that they need to try harder. We will do what is in our national interest.”

  • India is an important friend, will work through the issues:Pompeo

We can see each other not just as bilateral partners, but something much bigger than that, so that we can help each other all around the world. Acknowledging the trade differences, Pompeo said, “India is an important friend and partner for America. We’re looking at the issues at the moment. We will find a way to work through them. We can see each other not just as bilateral partners, but something much bigger than that, so that we can help each other all around the world.”

  • Cross border terrorism find a mention in India-USdialogue

Addressing the media, S Jaishankar said, “We discussed a number of bilateral and global issues, on terrorism, I took the opportunity to express our appreciation for the strong support that we have received from the Trump administration, what we say is really zero tolerance for cross border terrorism.”

When Modi meets Trump in Japan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump on 28th June in Osaka, the venue for G20 summit. Modi-Trump meeting assumes significance in the wake of increasing differences between the two countries over trade tariff, India’s defence deal with Russia and US’s posturing against Iran.
  • Strong response from India seems to have irked Donald Trump, who tweeted ahead of meeting with Narendra Modi calling tariffs by India as “unacceptable”.
  • Before the meeting Trump wrote, “I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the tariffs must be withdrawn!”
  • Trade and terror were the talks between Modi and Trump.
  • Trump wants the Modi government to lower the trade barriers and adopt what he calls “fair and reciprocal” trade. India and the US are in what appears an early stage of tariff war.
  • Trump administration increased tariff on aluminium and steel on last year (2018) impacting India’s export to the US.
  • India waited for months hoping an agreement could be reached but responded only after Trump administration ended the duty-free import from India under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) this year (2019).
  • India recently increased tariff on 28 items that it imports from the US.
  • While trade tariff would be the main focus of Trump during his meeting with Modi, the Indian Prime Minister is likely to push for waiver from the US for defence deal with Russia and an anti-terror conference on the lines of one held for climate change.


  • The US has again become the largest trading partner of India replacing China. India attaches more significance to trade with the US than China for simple arithmetic of balance of trade.
  • India has a favourable balance of trade with the US to the tune of $19 billion while its trade deficit with China is about $57 billion.
  • On the other hand, the US is also engaged in a bitter trade war with China and not in a position to have adversarial trade ties with India. But Trump has been insisting on lower tariff for American imports in India.
  • According to a fact-sheet released earlier by the US state department, the US purchases close to one-fifth of its exports and sees enormous potential “to grow trade relationship and create the high-quality jobs that Prime Minister Modi wants if India lowers trade barriers and embraces fair and reciprocal trade.”
  • India-US bilateral goods and services trade stood at $142 billion in 2018 with a jump of 12.6 per cent over the previous year. To address India’s energy concern, the US has also increased crude oil exports to India from 10 million barrels in 2017 to 50 million barrels in 2018.
  • The 2019 figures are expected to be bigger as Trump administration hopes India will cut down its oil import from Iran against whom the US has imposed economic sanctions.
  • India has entered into an agreement with Russia to buy S-400 missile defence system. But the US has imposed a sanction on arms purchase from Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). India has been calling for an exception and waiver from the US.


  • For Trump administration, Iran is the biggest source of global terror. However, PM Modi will be pushing for a broader agreement on fighting terror during his talks with President Trump.
  • Modi has already outlined his new approach to deal with terror on his first foreign tour after being voted back to power.
  • In the joint press conference, Jaishankar said, “We have, of course, Prime Minister’s initiative for a global conference on terrorism and I am sure that is something the US would look at positively.”
  • In 2017, Modi had raised the issue of terrorism in G-20 summit held in Hamburg, Germany. He had compared Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
  • Modi had proposed that officials from the countries extending active support terrorists should be barred from entering G-20 countries. This was clearly aimed at Pakistan, which has since been under tremendous pressure from international agencies to take visible action against terror outfits.