artk
Mon, Feb 24, 2020 3:03

Trump lands in India for state visit

media

US President Donald Trump landed in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on Monday to a raucous reception at the start of a visit during which the two sides will aim to reset relations that have been buffeted by a trade spat.

US President Donald Trump landed in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on Monday to a raucous reception at the start of a visit during which the two sides will aim to reset relations that have been buffeted by a trade spat.

India and the United States have built close political and security ties and Trump's two-day trip is a sign of their converging interests, officials say, including a way to counter China's rise as a superpower.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the airport to greet Trump and his wife, Melania, as they stepped off Air Force One.

Folk dancers carrying colourful umbrellas danced alongside the red carpet as drummers, trumpeters and other musicians performed on the airport grounds to welcome Trump and the US delegation.

Hopes that the world's two largest democracies could negotiate a "confidence building" deal in time for Trump's arrival have faded in recent days as differences over agriculture, medical devices, digital trade and proposed new tariffs fester, according to business groups.

US concerns that led last year to the suspension of India's tariff free access for some $5.6 billion in exports under the 1970s-era Generalized System of Preferences still remain, US officials say.

But Modi, who has built a personal rapport with Trump, is pulling out the stops for Trump's visit even though prospects for even a limited trade deal were slim.

The duo together garlanded an image of Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi after stopping briefly to visit his former home, Sabarmati Ashram.