Pompeo on three-day visit to India from June 25

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Mike Pompeo (Photo: Twitter)

New Delhi– US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be on three-day visit here from next Tuesday, during which he will meet External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

This will be the first high-level engagement with the US after the Lok Sabha elections, said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

During his visit, Pompeo will also call on other Indian leaders, Kumar added.

“Secretary Pompeo’s visit will provide an opportunity and importance for both sides to explore ways to further strengthen India-US strategic partnership and continue the high level engagement on matters of mutual interest, including bilateral, regional, and global issues.

“We look this visit as an opportunity to discuss of the issues which will be on the table,” he said.

Key bilateral issues, like trade, are expected to be discussed at the meeting between Pompeo and Jaishankar.

Bilateral trade between India and US has almost touched $150 billion and there has been a growth every year in the last few years, Kumar said, adding there has been a seven-fold increase since 2001.

“There are 500 US companies operating in India. The contribution of Indian-Americans in the growth of US has been recognized by the US leadership. US has supported India for the permanent member of the (UN) Security Council. Last year, we held a two-plus-two dialogue (between Foreign and Defence Ministers). There is lot of cooperation going on in the high technology trade. So, there is plenty of action going on between India and US bilateral relationship.”

With Pompeo’s visit, people in the policy circles are keeping a close watch on the likely developments in trade front.

Pompeo, in his address during the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council on June 12, stated that trade barriers and data localisation requirements are issues of major concern in their trade engagement with India.

The US’ National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report 2018 highlights the trade barriers US firms face in India. These include high tariffs, price control of medical devices, preference to domestically-produced products in government procurement, data localisation requirements, enforcement of intellectual property rights and local content requirements.

On most of these issues, save tariffs and data localisation, discussions have been going on between the two countries for quite some time. (IANS)

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