India’s top diplomat will visit Washington this week for talks with the new US administration, an Indian foreign ministry official said on Sunday.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar is expected to discuss with American officials India’s concerns over proposed US legislation that could make it harder for companies to replace American workers with those from India and other countries. Also expected to be on the agenda during Jaishankar’s four-day visit, which begins Tuesday, is safety for foreigners following a Kansas bar shooting that killed an Indian engineer and wounded another.
External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said only that Jaishankar would be going to the US for talks, without offering details. News reports said Jaishankar would meet with Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon and other US officials.
President Donald Trump has invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the United States later this year.
US-India relations generally prospered under the Obama administration, but New Delhi will be hoping that Trump takes a tougher line on Pakistan, which receives substantial US aid. India and Pakistan are neighbours and have fought three wars.
However, Trump’s strong stand against exporting US jobs has raised concerns in India, which has a thriving industry for American companies that offshore customer service call centres.
Shares of top Indian IT companies sank 2% to 4% on the Bombay Stock Exchange early this month in response to news of proposed US legislation that could make it harder for companies to replace American workers with those from countries like India.