US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a media briefing after their talks, in New Delhi on February 25, 2020.
US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a media briefing after their talks, in New Delhi on February 25, 2020.

Trump announces sale of $ 3 billion of US military equipment to India

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 25, 2020

United States President Donald Trump today said India and the US had expanded their defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than $ 3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters.

"These deals will enhance our joint defense capabilities as our militaries continue to train and operate side-by-side," Trump said at a joint media briefing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after their talks on the second day of the US President's two-day visit to India.

"I know Prime Minister Modi will agree that this has been a very productive visit for both of our countries," he said.

Trump said that, in their discussions, Modi and he had affirmed their two countries' commitment to protecting their citizens from radical Islamic terrorism.

"In this effort, the United States is also working productively with Pakistan to confront terrorists who operate on its soil," he said.

"Together, the Prime Minister and I are revitalizing the Quad Initiative with the United States, India, Australia, and Japan. Since I took office, we have held the first Quad ministerial meeting — I guess you would call it a meeting, but it seems like so much more than that — and expanded cooperation on counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and maritime security to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"As we deepen our partnership with India, we remember that our two countries have always been united by shared traditions of democracy and constitutions that protect freedom, individual rights, and the rule of law," he said.

The US President said Modi and he discussed the importance of a secure 5G wireless network and the need for this emerging technology to be a tool for freedom, progress, prosperity — not to do anything where it could be even conceived as a conduit for suppression and censorship.

"To guarantee that the infrastructure of the future is built in a safe, transparent, and accountable manner, the United States is working with a range of partners, including Australia and Japan, to create the Blue Dot Network, a major initiative to ensure countries around the world to have access to private sector-led, sustainable, and trustworthy options for high-quality infrastructure development, and that’s what’s happening," he said.

Trump said another major focus of his discussions with Modi was forging bilateral economic relationships that are fair and reciprocal.

"Our teams have made tremendous progress on a comprehensive trade agreement and I’m optimistic we can reach a deal that will be of great importance to both countries.

"Since I took office, U.S. exports to India are up nearly 60 percent and exports of high-quality American energy have grown by — thank you very much — 500 percent. That’s great.

"As India grows, so do its energy needs. Yesterday, ExxonMobil signed a deal to improve India’s natural gas distribution network so that the U.S. can export even more LNG to India," he said.

He said that, to further strengthen our economic ties, the United States is pleased to announce that the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will be establishing a permanent presence in Delhi.

"America is especially committed to working with India to improve development and empower women entrepreneurs. That is why my daughter Ivanka attended the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad to highlight women’s economic empowerment.

"We have since launched the W-GDP initiative, which is now spearheading projects supporting women in the economy from New Delhi to Kolkata," he said.

Trump said that, in their talks, the two sides also discussed and agreed to create a counter-narcotics working group to confront the growing threat of illicit fentanyl and opioid production.

"We must rid our societies of these lethal, horrible poisons. We will rid our societies of these bad drugs that are pouring in," he said.

"Prime Minister Modi, we have made tremendous advances for our people over the past two days. And, working together, I know that our two nations will continue to achieve new breakthroughs, unlock new potential, and forge even brighter futures in the years ahead.

"We think we’re at a point where our relationship is so special with India. It has never been as good as it is right now and I think that’s because the two leaders of each country — really, we feel very strongly about each other. And we have — we have done something that’s very unique and we’ve made some wonderful deals for each of our countries.

"Once again, we want to thank you and the entire nation of India for honoring the United States with its outstanding welcome. And I‘m pleased to say that the U.S.-Indian partnership is now truly stronger than ever before. This was a great visit with a tremendous friend and a tremendous leader, Prime Minister Modi," he added.

The two leaders did not take any questions from the media, though Trump separately addressed a press conference later at his hotel.