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India Rejects Trump's Paris Accord Charge Ahead of Modi's US Visit

Another niggling factor between the two countries remains the issue of H1B visas.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:June 5, 2017, 7:18 PM IST
India Rejects Trump's Paris Accord Charge Ahead of Modi's US Visit
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: India has outrightly rejected US President Donald Trump's charge of signing the Paris accord for receiving "billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries." External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Trump's words were not the reality. She said India "neither signed the Paris accord under pressure nor for money". She said she totally rejected the charge. The only reason for signing the accord was India's commitment to the environment.

Another niggling factor between the two countries remains the issue of H1B visas. Though Sushma Swaraj said that there has been no change yet in the procedure but she did admit that there was "concern". She however added that not all amendments can take effect through an executive order and so the government is in "touch with members of the Congress" on the issue. Swaraj said, "we are making an effort so that it does not impact us badly."

But the fallout of the executive order are already being felt in the IT sector. Tata Consultancy Services have applied for a third of the work visas this year as compared to 2015 and Infosys has already said they will hire 10,000 people from American campuses and set up four innovation hubs in US. Even though companies are trying to adjust their business models to the tightening visa regime but it is escalating costs for them.

It is amidst this rather bleak outlook that PM Modi will travel to the US to meet President Donald Trump later this month. Sushma Swaraj said that the relationship is one of "mutual benefit" but it appears an increasingly daunting task to get the message across to the President of United States.

The meeting has been in the works for several months now but as the date for the final one-on-one inches closer, the two sides seem to be drawing further apart on issues of mutual benefit. Sushma Swaraj added that the level of engagement between the two sides remains the same even after the change of regime in America and cited the telephonic conversations between PM Modi and Trump, meeting between the NSAs and Arun Jaitley's visit to the US as examples. But despite all this, the PM has his task cut out in infusing some energy in this sagging relationship.

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| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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