Donald Trump in India: US president begins first official trip

US President Donald Trump has arrived in India where he is expected to receive a massive public reception at a cricket stadium in Gujarat state.

Mr Trump was personally welcomed by PM Narendra Modi who enveloped him in a bear hug as soon as he emerged.

Crowds have already begun to fill the stadium in Ahmedabad city where the two leaders will address a rally.

His first official trip to India will focus on deepening ties between the world's two largest democracies.

Mr Modi and Mr Trump will lead a road show en route to the Motera stadium, billed as the world's largest cricket stadium.

Billboards along the route are emblazoned with pictures of the two leaders and carry slogans such as "two dynamic personalities, one momentous occasion".

The two leaders are expected to address more than 100,000 people at a public reception at the stadium on lines of the mass rally they jointly billed as "Howdy, Modi!" which was attended by 50,000 Indians in Houston last year.

The road show will feature performers from across the country, showcasing the arts from different Indian states.

"I look forward to being with the people of India. We are going to have many millions and millions of people. It's a long trip. I get along very well with Prime Minister Modi. He is a friend of mine," Mr Trump said ahead of his trip.

"I had committed to this trip a long time ago. I look forward to it. I hear it's going to be a big event… the biggest event they ever had in India."

But amid the fanfare, a much-talked about trade deal is unlikely to happen during the visit.

The US is one India's most important trade partners, with bilateral trade totalling $142.6bn (£110.3bn) in 2018. The US had a $25.2bn goods and services trade deficit with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.

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What is at stake during this visit?

The US is one India's most important trade partners, with bilateral trade totalling $142.6bn (£110.3bn) in 2018. The US had a $25.2bn goods and services trade deficit with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.

Despite growing political and strategic ties, there's been tension over trade issues. Mr Trump has said India's tariffs – taxes on imports – are "unacceptable", and has described India as the "king" of tariffs.

In June 2019, the US ended preferential trade status for India, the largest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – a scheme that allows some goods to enter the US duty-free.

The move caused a diplomatic rift between the two countries after India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products.

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An official US report last year said India's tariff rates on other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rRead More – Source

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