(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
US President Donald Trump urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do more to relax Indian trade barriers on Monday during talks in which both leaders took great pains to stress the importance of a strong US-Indian relationship.
At a closely watched first meeting between the two, Trump and Modi appeared to be getting along well. Modi pulled in Trump for a bear hug on the stage as the cameras rolled in the Rose Garden.
“I deeply appreciate your strong commitment to the enhancement of our bilateral relations," Modi
told Trump. "I am sure that under your leadership a mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positively, and will reach new heights.”
Trump also was warm but made clear he sees a need for more balance in the U.S.-India trade relationship in keeping with his campaign promise to expand American exports and create more jobs at home. Last year the US trade deficit with India neared $31 billion.
Trump said he would like a trading relationship that is "fair and reciprocal."
"It is important that barriers be removed to the export of US goods into your markets and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country," he said.