Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Narendra Modi Bolsters India’s Ties With U.S., Thanks to Donald Trump

After decades of mistrust and fitful reconciliation efforts, India and the United States turned toward cooperation Tuesday, and Donald J. Trump can claim at least some of the credit.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, making his second visit to the White House in two years, announced a crucial step toward ratification of the Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gases, bringing the accord close to full implementation. The two sides also announced that they intended to finalize a deal in which India will buy six nuclear reactors from Westinghouse by June 2017, fulfilling an agreement struck in 2005 by President George W. Bush. The two sides are still discussing price, but more difficult issues like liability have been resolved.
A defense deal, technology agreement and American investments in India are also expected to be announced on Tuesday. Mr. Modi has made clear that he intends to set aside decades of standoffishness — rooted in India’s colonial experience — to cement closer ties with Washington, in part because the next American leader may not share President Obama’s enthusiasm for India.
The news media in India has extensively chronicled comments by Mr. Trump that critics have said were racist, his “America First” views and his unorthodox campaign. While Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has said little about India, his vows to tighten immigration policies worry Indian officials.
“Modi wants to get as much as he can out of Obama’s last months in office,” said Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  more