Even as US President Donald Trump has taken steps to implement his aggressive policy of "Buy American, Hire American," his administration on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "vision for a new India" will also help create jobs in the US. In his first visit to the US after the new administration took over, Modi will meet Trump on June 26 to "set forth a common vision" to expand the US-India partnership, the White House has said.
The leaders of the world's two largest democracies, home to 1.6 billion people, will meet on June 26 to discuss a gamut of bilateral issues including terrorism and India's concerns over possible changes in H1B visa rules.
"US energy and technologies, including natural gas, are helping to build Prime Minister Modi's vision for a new India and creating thousands of US jobs in the process," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.
Despite the recent hiccups over the issue, US-India trade has grown six-fold since 2000, from USD 19 billion to USD 115 billion in 2016, Spicer said, adding that the Indian economy is growing at over 7 per cent.
The White House's statement on job creation by India in the US is in contrast with Trump's comments about jobs fleeing to China and elsewhere. In April, Trump ordered a review of trade with countries with which US runs a deficit. India is on that list, although with deficit of $24 billion in pales in comparison with China's $347 billion.
Spicer said that Modi and Trump were expected to set forth a "common vision" on expanding the US-India partnership. He cited fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as shared priorities.
"I think you can expect the two of them to set forth a vision that will expand the US-India partnership in an ambitious and worthy way of both countries' people," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.
"The President looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and India and to advance our common priorities: fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region," Spicer announced on Monday.
"President Trump and Prime Minister Modi will look to outline a common vision for the United States-India partnership that is worthy of their 1.6 billion citizens," Spicer said.
Trump invited Modi to Washington after the latter rang him in January to congratulate the new president on his inauguration.
The bilateral talks appear to be no bed of roses as they come amidst thorny issues like US' plans to reduce the number of H-1B visa slots that are mainly used by Indian IT workers, and its withdrawal from the historic climate accord.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her annual press meet last week said Modi would also raise the issues surrounding the US' plans to reduce the number of H-1B visa slots that are mainly used by Indian IT workers.
Almost 1.8 million H-1B visas have been distributed in fiscal years 2001 through 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. From fiscal years 2001 to 2015, workers from India received the largest share (50.5 per cent) of all H-1B visas for first-time employment.
Notably, Modi's US visit, which would begin on June 25, comes in the backdrop of Trump's announcement to withdraw the US from the historic Paris Climate Agreement signed by over 190 other countries.
In his announcement of the decision for which he received a global condemnation, Trump had blamed India and China for the US withdrawal.
"India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions of dollars from developed countries," he had said.
Strongly rejecting Trump's contention, India said it signed the Paris deal not under duress or for lure of money but due to its commitment to protect the environment.
During his visit to France this month, Modi even said that India would "go above and beyond" the Paris deal to protect climate for the future generations. Apart from ways to enhance trade and business cooperation, Modi and Trump are expected to discuss defence ties.