Sep 21, 2019

Trump races toward India trade deal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and President Trump (R). Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are rushing to finalize trade deal terms ahead of the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month, reports Reuters.

Why it matters: "A deal between the world's most populous democracies would be a welcome victory for Trump" as a trade war with China rages on, writes Reuters. Modi and Trump have been using tariffs in an attempt to "boost investment in manufacturing" in both countries.

The deal would decrease some tariffs on U.S. produce and bring back "preferential treatment" for a collection of Indian exports, per Reuters.

  • Talks have largely focused on India cutting agricultural tariffs against almonds, pork, dairy and other goods.
  • India wants its special status under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) restored for a few more years "to boost exports dampened by sluggish global demand," writes Reuters.

Context: The U.S. cancelled duty-free access under GSP for $5.7 billion worth of Indian exports this June, which prompted India to respond with tariffs against 28 U.S. products, according to Reuters.

  • The U.S. also has problems with India's e-commerce rules that set up more barriers for American companies like Amazon and Walmart — as the Indian online market is expected to reach $200 billion by 2027, per Reuters.

What's next: Trump is planning to meet Modi in Houston on Sunday for a "Howdy Modi" event, intended to signal improved relations between the 2 countries. About 50,000 people are expected to attend — the largest live audience event for a foreign leader other than the Pope, reports the Washington Post.

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Trump at Howdy Modi rally: India and U.S. must protect our borders

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump attend the "Howdy, Modi!" rally at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump declared in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at a Houston event honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "India and the United States understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders."

Why it matters: Trump's comments at the "Howdy Modi" rally that border security is "vital" to the U.S. and India come weeks after India sent thousands of troops to the Indian-administered Kashmir and erased the special status of the majority-Muslim state — escalating tensions with Pakistan in the disputed region.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019

Kashmir crackdown: A warning of nuclear war between India and Pakistan

Daily life in locked-down Srinagar. Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

India and Pakistan are sliding toward potential nuclear war, according to the president of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The warning comes as Pakistan attempts to rally global outrage against its neighbor and rival.

Catch up quick: On Aug. 5, India revoked the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir — the state it controls within the disputed Himalayan territory — while instituting a communications blackout and a curfew enforced by hundreds of thousands of troops.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019

The cost of Trump's tariffs

Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Tariffs Hurt the Heartland; Note: Lists 1-3 refers to USTR designation of Chinese imports subject to tariffs; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Tariffs imposed by President Trump have so far cost U.S. corporations $34 billion, according to data compiled by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — a coalition of businesses and trade groups that oppose the tariffs — provided first to Axios.

Why it matters: Trade negotiations are set to resume Thursday, and corporate America is hoping the U.S. and China — whose tit-for-tat battle has cost companies the most — strike a truce.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019