MEA gives Clarification on Trump's Remark of India Not Treating US Well


President of the USA, Donald Trump made a remark on India, saying that India has not treated his country “very well“. His remark comes days before his visit to India. Ministry of External Affairs cleared the context of the remark.

Crux of the Matter

Indo-US bilateral ties may see positive changes after Trump’s visit to India. However, days before, he made this controversial remark on trade relations with India that may portray India’s negative image. It is likely that Washington would not sign any big deal with Delhi before the US presidential elections.

The opposition parties in India like Congrees have shown their discontent with these remarks and said that “Donald trump trade deal remarks insult to India’s dignity.” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar responded to this comment, saying that “It is important to understand the context of the remark”.

He further clarified that the remark was to balance out the trade between both countries and India is looking forward to strengthening its bilateral relations and global ties. Ministry also confirmed that 5 MoUs were under discussion and there may be a talk on H-1B visa.

Back in September 2019, India’s PM Narendra Modi had wowed crowds in Houston in the ‘Howdy Modi’ extravaganza where he was brought on stage by Trump.


India-USA Trade relations – The US is India’s second-largest trading partner, and India is its 9th largest trading partner. In 2017, the US exported $25.7 billion worth of goods to India and imported $48.6 billion worth of Indian goods. Major items imported from India include information technology services, textiles, machinery, gems and diamonds, chemicals, iron and steel products, coffee, tea, and other edible food products. Major American items imported by India include aircraft, fertilizers, computer hardware, scrap metal, and medical equipment. More info.

Howdy Modi was a community summit hosted by Texas India Forum (TIF) for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the United States Donald Trump on Sunday, September 22nd at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Over 50,000 attended the sold-out event, making it the largest gathering for an invited foreign leader visiting the United States other than the Pope. The “Howdy Modi” summit was organized with the support of more than 1,000 volunteers and 650 Texas-based Welcome Partner organizations. More Info

$10bn Indo-US Trade Deal on the table

India and the US are likely to finalize a $10 billion trade deal in February when US President Donald Trump is expected to visit New Delhi.

Crux of the Matter

Meetings on the trade deal were also held in Davos during the World Economic Forum. A six-member team from the US administration recently met Piyush Goyal to discuss the deal. The deal is expected to be finalized after the meeting of United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

In order to reduce the price of medical devices, India had insisted US for producing medical devices in India. This issue of medical devices has now been resolved to give a green signal to the massive trade deal.

India wants restoration of benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Under GSP, some products can enter the US market duty-free if the beneficiary developing country meets the eligibility criteria set by the US Congress. In 2019, India was removed from GSP and in retaliation, India had slapped higher tariffs on a list of US products.


India is the 9th largest trading partner for the USA. Major items imported from India include information technology services, textiles, machinery, gems and diamonds, chemicals, iron and steel products, coffee, tea, and other edible food products. Major American items imported by India include aircraft, fertilisers, computer hardware, scrap metal, and medical equipment. The United States is also India’s largest investment partner, with a direct investment of $10 billion in power generation, telecommunications, ports, roads, Petroleum exploration and processing, and mining industries. U.S. goods and services trade with India totaled an estimated $142.6 billion in 2018. Exports were $58.7 billion; imports were $83.9 billion. More Info

US & China Sign Phase 1 of Trade Deal

The US & China on January 15 signed the first phase of a trade deal after 18-months of tough negotiations including several months of suspension of talks between the two largest economies of the world. The agreement was signed by US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Crux of the Matter
  • The first phase of the trade deal includes Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Enforcement, ending forced technology transfer, the dramatic expansion of American agriculture, removing barriers to American financial services, ending currency manipulation, rebalancing the US-China trade relationship and effective dispute resolution.
  • Punitive tariffs on China would remain in place till the time the second phase of the trade deal is agreed.
  • Presently the US has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated with tariffs on more than $110 billion of US products.
  • China has pledged to increase purchases of US products worth $200 billion over the next two years and the US commitment to roll back tariffs in phases on Chinese goods.
  • The trade deal is expected to help revitalise the global value chain disrupted by the trade war and remedy at least some of loss.
  • Liu He said, “economic and trade cooperation is the propeller of the overall bilateral relationship”
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his letter to Donald Trump, said the phase one deal was good for China and the US and it needed to be earnestly implemented by both sides.
  • Donald Trump called the trade agreement a momentous step to a future of fair and reciprocal trade and said, “this is a transformative deal that will bring great benefits for the two countries.”

The China-United States trade war is an ongoing economic conflict between the world’s two largest national economies, China and the United States. President Donald Trump in 2018 began setting tariffs and other trade barriers on China with the goal of forcing it to make changes to what the U.S. says are “unfair trade practices”. In the United States, the trade war has brought struggles for farmers and manufacturers and higher prices for consumers. In other countries, it has also caused economic damage. The trade war has been criticized internationally, including by U.S. businesses and agricultural organizations, though most farmers continued to support Trump. More Info

For Safeguarding Interests, Industry and Farmers Welcome RCEP Stance

Industries, farmers, businesses, with open arms, hailed the decision of PM Modi to back out from the RCEP deal, a move to protect the domestic industry. Farmers, who would have fared the worst due to the flooding of goods from China, were most happy. India’s competitiveness will be at test while the doors of the RCEP deal are open for negotiations.

Crux of the Matter
  • Citing potential worsening impacts on the domestic industry, PM Modi had refused to sign the RCEP deal as it currently stands.
  • Dairy giant Amul welcomed the decision saying the signing would have exposed the farmers to intense competition.
  • The industry had a sigh of relief from the potential danger of low-priced Chinese goods flooding the Indian market.
  • “It’s like throwing someone who is 25 kilogrammes into a boxing ring and asking him to compete with an opponent weighing 100 kilogrammes.” said B.M. Singh, convener of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

RCEP has been criticized by free culture activists for containing “quite simply the worst provisions on copyright ever seen in a trade agreement.”. Global health care activists have criticized the agreement for potentially forcing India to end its cheap supply of generic medications to poor countries. It is also being propagated as a means for China to sell its cheap goods as it opens up a huge market. Read More

India Rejects RCEP for not Meeting Satisfactory Terms

The RCEP Agreement, formed to create the world’s largest free-trade zone, will be signed by 15 countries as India upholds its disagreements. PM Modi showed concerns regarding the potential negative impacts of the policy on the domestic industry. The discussion stage is still open for India as the RCEP goes ahead to 2020 for signatures.

Crux of the Matter
  • 10 ASEAN countries along with China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, are the 16 nation partners of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement launched in 2012.
  • The RCEP lacks the terms that support the growth of Indian farmers, professionals, businesses, and industries as per the Indian government.
  • Commitment to Rules of Origin, the threat of import surge, ambiguity on the access of different market and non-tariff barriers, and use of the year 2014 as the base year, were some of the shortcomings in the RCEP.
  • Considering India as one of the key benefactors of the trade deal, China and Australia stated that “The door still open for India”.
  • The opposition led by Congress had slammed the Indian Government last week stating that the acceptance of the RCEP would paralyze the economy, resulting in loss of millions of jobs. The RCEP negotiations had begun in the Congress regime in the first place.
  • At the end of the day the Indian government looked out for the country’s sovereign interests in rejecting the RCEP deal.

RCEP or Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is the largest free-trade zone pact in the world, and covering a mammoth 35% of the world’s GDP and one-third population – works on the fundamentals of integrating the partner markets by relaxing trade barriers and improving access to products and services of partner nations. Read More