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US secretary of state discusses trade tariffs and visas on India visit


US secretary of state discusses trade tariffs and visas on India visit

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Photo: Reuters

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will depart for a three-day trip to India today.

Mr Pompeo is expected to assure Indian leadership that the Trump administration has no plans to impose a cap on H-1B visas. The H-1B visa, popular among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require technical expertise.

Additionally, Mr Pompeo is expected to reinforce that the controversy over the H-1B visa program is separate from a recent uptick in trade tensions between the two countries. India recently announced a hike in customs duties on as many as 28 American products, including almond, apple, pulses and walnut, in response to higher tariffs imposed by Washington on Indian products, like steel and aluminium, and the US’ decision to end India’s preferential trade status earlier this month.

Secretary Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on June 28-29. The purpose of today’s meeting is to reassure India that despite the economic tensions, Washington remains committed to its vision of a strategic partnership between the two countries to combat China.

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