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Trump fails to reach a trade agreement with India

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump was unable to conclude a major trade agreement with India at the end of his visit, which was marked by festive activities, but it was devoid of any real achievement and marred by bloody riots in connection with the citizenship law.

After talks in New Delhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said only that they had made “tremendous progress” toward a comprehensive agreement, and that he was “optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement.”

Although Washington’s trade dispute with New Delhi does not reach the level of its dispute with Beijing, Trump imposed customs duties on steel and aluminum imports from India and stopped the exemption of duties on certain commodities.

Amid pressure before the November presidential election, Trump sought to secure greater access to India’s 1.3 billion people to sell American dairy products, medical equipment and Harley Davidson bikes.

However, Moody, who adopts the “Made in India” slogan similar to Trump’s “America First” slogan, has responded by imposing high tariffs on certain US goods such as California almonds, the country’s $ 600 million worth of imports.

As for Modi, Trump said to his side, a day after they appeared together in a busy gathering of 100,000 people, that both sides “agreed to start negotiating a major trade agreement.”

Eye on China.

On Monday, on the first day of his two-day official visit, upon his arrival in India, Trump praised India’s “tremendous success”, describing Modi as “an exceptional leader” in a speech to a massive gathering of more than 100,000 people at a new cricket stadium.

Trump and his wife Melania headed to the Taj Mahal, where they held each other’s hands at sunset. His son-in-law Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also used the visit to take pictures.

In a context related to trade agreements, Trump and Modi announced defense deals worth $ 3 billion, including naval helicopters, and they will discuss a $ 1.9 billion missile defense shield.

This underscores the two countries’ concerns about China’s growing influence.

But behind the failure to reach a trade agreement between the world’s largest economy and the second most populous country, behind the celebrations, the two countries are still very far away.

Sectarian violence

Trump has not, at least publicly, expressed his dissatisfaction with the citizenship law that has caused concern outside India, especially in Washington, that Modi wants to reshape secular India and turn it into a Hindu state and marginalize 200 million Indian Muslims, which he denies.

The law sparked weeks of protests and violence, but the death toll was the first since December.

Violence began in New Delhi on Monday after Trump’s arrival, between supporters and opponents of the new nationality law, but it turned into fights between Hindus and Muslims, according to local media.

In the renewed violence, seven people were killed in the northeastern areas of New Delhi, including a policeman. More than 90 people were injured, according to police and hospital sources, after the rioters threw rocks and some of them carrying weapons, setting fire to buildings and vehicles.

The authorities responded with tear gas and smoke grenades, deployed paramilitary security forces, closed schools and prohibited the gathering of more than four people in the affected areas.

More violence was reported on Tuesday, and a large cloud of black smoke rose to the sky.

“We have received reports of ongoing violent incidents … and protesters are attacking the police wherever they are found and clashing with each other in areas where the police are not present,” police officer Alok Kumar told AFP.

Melania and the disciples of happiness

Against this background, the first American lady is expected to visit a school to watch the “class of happiness” where children practice meditation and focus on spirituality to be students and better citizens.

This initiative was launched in 2018 by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and aroused the interest of Melania Trump, who launched the “Be the Best” initiative for American children.

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