Donald Trump on CAA, trade deal and Kashmir: Highlights of US President’s press conference

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US President Donald Trump waves after attending 'Namaste Trump' rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on February 24, 2020. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump concluded a showy state visit to India on Tuesday with plenty of impressive photos but without major announcements on trade or security.

Trump departed having cemented his close friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, upon whom he lavished praise during public appearances over the course of his 36-hour visit.
But Trump was frank that Modi puts up a tough trade fight and that their disagreements on tariffs and deficits wouldn’t be resolved in the near-term.
And he made no reference when standing alongside Modi of the contentious situation gripping India over the status of Muslims in the Hindu-majority society. Hours before Trump arrived in the Indian capital, violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Modi’s Hindu nationalist stance left more than seven people dead.
Trump said during a later news conference that he had raised the issue of religious freedom with Modi in their private talks. But he described the prime minister’s answer as “incredible,” leaving doubt he raised forceful objections.
Trump’s visit will be remembered more for the images it produced: a crowd topping 100,000 cheering for him at a campaign-like stadium rally, a softly lit tour of the Taj Mahal, and multiple homages to Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian independence leader famous for his humility.
“This has been a very special visit — unforgettable, extraordinary,” Trump said alongside Modi during an afternoon statement from the gardens of Hyderabad House. “What can you say? Very, very wonderful to be with you.”
The pair didn’t answer questions; Modi does not make himself available for news conferences in his own country. Trump convened his own news conference later in the day where he repeated his praise of the Indian leader.

There were tempered expectations heading into Trump’s visit for major breakthroughs on trade or other matters. Trump acknowledged before he departed that a trade deal wasn’t likely before November’s presidential election.
Trump said during his raucous rally in northwestern Gujarat State on Monday that talks were still in their early stages.
“I am optimistic that, working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that’s good and even great for both of our countries,” Trump said. “Except that he’s a very tough negotiator.”
Trump is eager to reduce the trade deficit with India, and has applied tariffs on steel and aluminum that set off a cascade of retaliatory actions. Trump eventually stripped the country of preferential trade status, igniting anger among Indian officials.
He said Tuesday he was “optimistic” a trade pact could be reached eventually, and claimed ties between the US and India had reached historic strength.
“It has never been as good as it is right now,” Trump said, citing his personal bond with Modi as the underpinning. “We feel very strongly about each other. We have done something that is very unique.”
Trump and Modi announced some modest agreements on defense and security, including the purchase of $3 billion worth of American military helicopters and other equipment for its Navy. The pair also outlined new agreements for energy purchases and a joint mental health initiative.
But as the elaborate state visit came to a close, its outcome appeared more about optics than policy.
“The last two days have been amazing in every sense of the word,” Trump said at the start of his meetings, held in a long hall inside Delhi’s Hyderabad House.
There were tempered expectations heading into Trump’s visit for major breakthroughs on trade or other matters. Trump acknowledged before he departed that a trade deal wasn’t likely before November’s presidential election.
Trump said during his raucous rally in northwestern Gujarat State on Monday that talks were still in their early stages.
“I am optimistic that, working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that’s good and even great for both of our countries,” Trump said. “Except that he’s a very tough negotiator.”
Trump is eager to reduce the trade deficit with India, and has applied tariffs on steel and aluminum that set off a cascade of retaliatory actions. Trump eventually stripped the country of preferential trade status, igniting anger among Indian officials.
He said Tuesday he was “optimistic” a trade pact could be reached eventually, and claimed ties between the US and India had reached historic strength.
“It has never been as good as it is right now,” Trump said, citing his personal bond with Modi as the underpinning. “We feel very strongly about each other. We have done something that is very unique.”
Trump and Modi announced some modest agreements on defense and security, including the purchase of $3 billion worth of American military helicopters and other equipment for its Navy. The pair also outlined new agreements for energy purchases and a joint mental health initiative.
But as the elaborate state visit came to a close, its outcome appeared more about optics than policy.
“The last two days have been amazing in every sense of the word,” Trump said at the start of his meetings, held in a long hall inside Delhi’s Hyderabad House.