Donald Trump, the US President on Sunday in an event in Houston, announced that he will join Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, to address a meeting.
The White House referred to this meeting as ‘Howdy, Modi’ meeting, and this meeting was to promote India-US relations. It also offers a nod to the growing equation that was between leaders. ‘Howdy,’ is the short form of ‘How do you do?’, and this is a friendly greeting in the southwestern United States.
Astonishingly real is this fact that over 50,000 Indian-Americans across the US have registered for ‘Howdy, Modi’ meeting to be held on September 22. The event will be at the NGR Stadium in Houston. Modi is visiting from September 21-27 the US for the UNGA annual session. It is his first US trip after his victory as Prime Minister in May for the second term.
Stephanie Grisham, the White House Press Secretary said, ‘The Modi-Trump rally will emphasize the strong ties between India and the United States. It will endorse the partnership between the world’s largest and oldest democracies and open ways to discuss and deepen the trade and energy relationship.
Why is it Historical?
It may be the first time in the US that amidst thousands of Indian-Americans, the American President will be addressing. The Indian ambassador called this participation as ‘historic’.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the current Indian Ambassador and Indian diplomat told PTI, ‘This meeting reflects the strong bonds of cooperation and friendship that is between India and the US’.
The ambassador said this event would have the two leaders addressing and it will set a bold precedent, and added that it was unique and unconventional.
It is the first time that two great leaders are sharing a stage. It is the third meeting between the two leaders, Modi, and Trump in three months. The G-20 summit in June took place in Japan, and last month in France it was G-7.
Is It The Trade Deal?
On Wednesday, Trump, in response to a question about the Houston rally, said to Air Force One ‘I have a good relationship with Prime Minister Modi’.
However, Trump was precise in replying. According to the media reports, the two countries officials are trying to finalize trade deals before they meet in Houston. Continuous trade tensions are going on between the two countries, and Trump is complaining about the imposed tariffs on American products that stand as ‘not acceptable’.
In June, the US terminated the beneficiary of developing countries to India under the GSP (Generalize system of Preferences) program. India imposed on 28 US products retaliatory tariffs, and this includes apples and almonds from June 5, after the administration of Trump canceled its trade privileges.
Crowd puller Modi
Reacting to 50,000 Indian-Americans registering for this event in Houston, Trump said the crowd ‘Modi has got a big crowd attending, and it is getting a lot bigger.
After this event, Trump will be traveling for an even to Ohio with the visiting Prime Minister from Australia. Trump said he has a great relationship with India and Pakistan. Trump will be meeting in New York the Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan next week on the UN General Assembly session sidelines.