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India is doing great: Donald Trump

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Washington: India’s rise has caught the attention of controversial Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump who thinks the world’s largest democracy is doing great, but nobody is talking about it.

“India is doing great. Nobody talks about it,” the brash real estate mogul, who has ruffled many feathers with his anti-immigration rhetoric, a call to ban all Muslims and accusing several countries, particularly China, of taking advantage of the US, said in an interview with CNN on Monday.

Trump’s first comments about India on the campaign trail came in response to a question about the change in his views expressed in a September 24, 2007 CNN interview when he had talked about America’s decline and the rise of China and India.

He had then said: “Just look at this country (the US). We have gone from this tremendous power that was respected all over the world to somewhat of a laughing stock.

“All of a sudden, people are talking about China and India and other places, even from an economic standpoint. America has come down a long way, a long way. The US has come down a long way, and it’s very, very sad. We’re not respected.”

In his response on Monday to the statement made almost nine years ago, Trump explained: “That was the beginning of China. That was the beginning of India, when India, by the way, India is doing great. Nobody talks about it. And I have big jobs going up in India. But India is doing great.”

However, in a little noticed statement as recently as November 2015, Trump had actually accused India too of “taking advantage of the US”.

“If you look at the way China and India and almost everybody takes advantage of the United States – China in particular, because they’re so good,” he was quoted as saying.

Trump’s statement about India came a day before a new poll found him hitting a new high in the race for the Republican nomination with 41 percent Republican voters nationwide backing him.

Significantly, more than two-thirds of Republicans said he is the candidate most likely to capture their party’s presidential nomination, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll.

Trump was also widely seen as the candidate best able to win the November election with 63 percent of Republicans saying so.

The 69-year-old billionaire has been trying for years to capitalise on his brand in India, which according to the latest International Monetary Fund projections has overtaken China to emerge as the fastest growing economy in the world with a 7.5 percent growth rate.

In 2014, he announced the launch of Trump Tower Mumbai, an 800-foot skyscraper with 75 stories to be erected in Mumbai by an Indian developer Lodha Group.

Before that, in August 2012, developer Panchshil Realty announced another luxury residential property with the Trump name, in Pune, a city about 145 km from Mumbai.

The Trump Towers Pune feature two towers with 23 stories each. The project is still under construction. (IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS

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