The White House refuses to comment on United States arms sales before Congress has been officially notified, but a senior administration official underscored that "this defence relationship is extremely important for both countries". That's according to a congressional aide and an industry representative speaking to The Associated Press.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India has now emerged as a business-friendly destination, more so with the upcoming implementation of landmark GST beginning next month, while asking CEOs of top USA companies to invest in the country. The two leaders are likely to discuss bilateral-trade deficit, counter-terrorism among others.
Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" platform, has been troubled by the growing United States trade deficit with India. In a concrete indication of that, the U.S.is set to offer a $2 billion sale of USA -made unarmed drones to help in surveillance of the Indian Ocean.
India and Portugal June 24 launched a joint worldwide startup hub soon after Narendra Modi expressed his amazement that there has been no bilateral Indian Prime Ministerial visit ever to this European nation that is home to around 70,000 people of Indian origin.
Modi arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Washington, D.C. for bilateral meeting with President Trump scheduled for June 26. The meetings will be followed by a cocktail reception, and then a working dinner which will notably be the first for a foreign leader at the White House under the Trump administration.
"PM Modi is a tea seller boy, who rose from rock bottom to earn respect within the party & from millions of Indians to get elected as the Prime Minister of India", he said.
Both sides want better market access.
The lawmakers said the barriers included high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, and inconsistent and non-transparent licensing and regulatory practices. Most American reporting has been on the robust trade and defense relations between India and the USA which has bi-partisan support.
Amazon has invested over $1 billion in India during 2016-17, say experts. India, along with China, is now aiming to lead the world into a more sustainable future after the US withdrew from the Paris climate agreement earlier this month.
On fighting terrorism, Kugelman said the two leaders have a similar worldview - that "it needs to be destroyed wherever it rears its murderous head".
The new administration has also indicated it could take a tougher stance on Pakistan, which India has long accused of harboring militant groups.
The Trump administration also must settle on its own foreign policy for India to be reassured that strategic interests remain aligned.
Climate change could be a contentious issue. Strong private ties are obviously not a substitute for robust official engagement with India, but they can advance the prospects of the latter at a time when Trump's view of New Delhi has not yet solidified. Lisa Curtis, the top National Security Council staffer working on South Asia, is a strong supporter of a strong U.S. -India relationship.