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US President Donald Trump’s China focus is affecting ties with India, says Timothy Roemer

S President Donald Trump’s focus on China and escalating trade war is affecting the ties with India, said Timothy Roemer, former US ambassador to India, adding that the relationship with New Delhi is under-leveraged by the administration right now.

In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Roemer said he expects that trade differences between New Delhi and Washington won’t blow up into problems that may either derail or impact the good relationship between US and India.

“I know they want to pay attention in North Korea. I know there is a meeting coming up between President Trump and Vladimir Putin is important, but still, they can put the time and the effort to implement the strategy and continue to deepen this relationship with one of our most important partners in India,” Roemer said.

2+2 Dialogue

However, US was found in a challenging position with regards to 2+2 dialogue and are in talks with people in Trump and Modi administration to change the status quo, he said.

Roemer further added that the US is not only delaying the 2+2 talks but also not putting enough priority to resolve some of the economic relationships diplomatically.

Earlier, US scrapped two high-level talks with India, which was meant to focus on strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation.

Commenting on New Delhi’s role in the world economy, Roemer said, “India continues to be one of the most robust economies in the world, one of the fastest growing economies if not the fastest, maybe the third largest economy in the world.”

Ties with Bush and Obama administration

Talking on relationship with earlier US government’s with New Delhi, he said the George Bush and the Barack Obama administration, which he has worked, was deeply valued the strategic partnership with India and was putting time to implement initiatives in defence, energy, intelligence, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, homeland security and on economic issues.

US-China Trade War

On the trade dispute, Roemer said US President is going hard on Beijing on trade issues with $375 billion deficit between US and China.

He said the US President is also pursuing trade provisions on tariffs on aluminum and steel, intellectual property theft and economic secrets.

US officials accuse China of building its emerging industrial dominance by stealing the “crown jewels” of American technological know-how through cyber-theft, forced transfers of intellectual property and state-sponsored corporate acquisitions.

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