Sat, 19 Oct 2019

Trump Joins Indian PM for 'Howdy Modi' Rally

Voice of America
23 Sep 2019, 07:35 GMT+10

HOUSTON - U.S. President Donald Trump has praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian-American community in the United States.

Trump appeared with Modi before a largely Indian audience of some 50,000 people who packed Houston stadium for the "Howdy Modi" event.

"We are proud to have you as Americans," said Trump to the Indian-American community. "My administration is fighting for you each and every day."

Modi, while introducing Trump, said "He has already made the American economy strong again." He said in the two years that Trump has been in office, India - U.S. relations have reached "new heights."

Trump praised the bi-lateral relationship saying, "India has never invested in the U.S. like it is doing today, and I want to say it's reciprocal because we're doing the same thing in India."

Trump told Modi that India has never "had a better friend as president as President Donald Trump."

But despite the president's positive assertions, the U.S. and India have yet to agree on a trade deal which has been stalled since the U.S. cancelled India's special trade status. In turn, India increased tariffs on several dozen American products.

Preeti Dawra, one of the organizers of the "Howdy Modi" event said, "Trump is completely welcomed by the community."

Recent polls however show lackluster support for Trump within the Indian-American community, a majority of whom voted for Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Modi is facing global backlash for his crackdown in disputed Kashmir.

Last month, he stripped the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, sparking renewed tensions with Pakistan, which also claims part of Kashmir.

India has deployed thousands of troops to prevent violent protests in the Muslim-majority region and residents in Kashmir continue to face curbs on travel and communications restrictions.

President Trump later travels to Ohio where he will make an appearance with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

In Ohio, the president and Morrison will tour a new Australian-owned manufacturing facility for Pratt Industries.

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