Modi’s visit will set the tone for India’s engagement with Trump administration
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to United States from June 25-26 is being watched with anticipation, coloured by growing concerns at the continued unpredictable pronouncements and decisions of the Donald Trump administration, and the need to understand the new paradigm for the bilateral relationship, including in the context of the rapidly and significantly changing global order.
This will be the Prime Minister’s fifth US visit since his election in 2014. Each of the previous visits had a unique character.
The first, in September 2014, marking his initial high-level contact with US leadership, began the turnaround in the relationship which had seen a dip in the immediately preceding period, and captured the popular imagination with the innovative and impactful nearly 20,000 strong diaspora event organised at the iconic Madison Square garden in New York.
The second, a year later, was marked by a similar diaspora interaction on the West Coast in San Jose, but defined by his meetings with CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Qualcomm, Cisco, Adobe, Tesla, and recognition of the deep interlinkages between US digital technology sector and Indian origin entrepreneurs and technology workers. Earlier, in January 2015, President Barack Obama had visited India as chief guest on Republic Day, the first for a US President.
The third, at the end of March 2016, was for the multilateral Nuclear Security Summit. The fourth and the most impactful so far was a full bilateral one, which included a highly acclaimed address to a joint meeting of US Congress, and bipartisan welcome events organised by the Senate and House foreign relations committees and India Caucuses. There were also meetings with US business leaders at each of the visits with bilateral component, signalling the importance attached to this dimension.