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India should continue its lobbying efforts in US under Donald Trump, says an Indian Academic

Academic Ashok sharma mentioned that India should continue lobbying in the US Congress and the India-US relationship is serious and institutionalised

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US President Elect Donald Trump, Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Feb 6, 2017: According to an Indian academic familiar with the practice, India should not stop but continue its lobbying efforts in the Us Congress to further its interests with Donald Trump in the White House.

Ashok Sharma, Fellow at the Australia-India Institute in the University of Melbourne and the author of the book “Indian Lobbying and its Influence on US Decision Making” stated that all US Governments have tried to curb the practice of lobbying but failed and Trump too was trying to bring some reforms in the practice, while delivering a lecture on “US-India relations under Trump-Modi administration: What lies ahead”.

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Sharma also mentioned, “The US-India relationship is at a stage where it cannot be derailed. But we have to continue our lobbying efforts in the US Congress if we have to make it the defining partnership of the 21st century.”

India’s lobbying efforts got a strong boost with the formation of the India Caucus in the US House of Representatives in 1993, Sharma informed.

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He said that it was lobbying that helped boost the bilateral relationship that India and US shared and was the reason behind the historic India-US civil nuclear deal signed in 2005.

The Academic also added India-US ties were based on geopolitics and with China making its presence felt in various parts of the world including the Asia-pacific and the rise of Islamic Terrorism, New Delhi has become an important companion for Washington.

As for how President Trump will take India’s relationship with US, his opinion was,” We need to wait and watch 100 days of the Trump administration.”

Sharma believes Trump being a businessman, would look forward to cutting deals with other countries. “He (Trump) is questioning all multilateral deals, including the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).”

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However, Sharma concluded that the India-US partnership was very much institutionalised now and no US President can take in down just like that. (IANS)

 

 

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  • gzaetz

    The India Lobby has been immensely successful in securing huge advantages for India and in ensuring that India has needed to do virtually nothing to further US interests in India, like America’s interest in recovering its war dead from India’s territory. The question is, Will President Trump do anything to make this relationship more balanced, so that US interests aren’t given short shrift like they were under the Obama Administration? Will the India Lobby be put in its place?

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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