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Trump and Modi will be ‘best friends’: adviser to US president-elect

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WASHINGTON: The US president-elect will be ‘best friends’ with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an adviser to Donald Trump said during a telephone interview.

Calling Pakistan a perpetrator of terrorism, Shalabh Kumar – an Indian émigré businessman is Trump’s point person for outreach to Indian-American voters – expects a full expression of support from Trump for surgical strikes that Modi ordered.

He spoke to Reuters on the evening of Trump’s election as the 45th US president and said, “We are obviously very confident as to what the mood of the country is, as well as the intelligence of our electorate. House Speaker Paul Ryan put it very eloquently when he said that there was a voice, a murmur throughout the United States which the Democrats did not hear and which, for the most part, the Republicans ignored.”

Donald Trump had this unbelievable ability to listen to this sound and to judge the mood of the country. He understood that the electorate was fed up with the status quo, their economic status, their lack of job security, college education and their children not getting proper jobs. Three in four college graduates are not finding a job. Wages are stagnant. Obamacare costs are going through the roof, he added.

There was so much discontent in the country that he was able to lead and that establishment politicians were not able to lead.

“The first thing is to tap the talent in the country – he has repeatedly said that in private and in public. There is a tonne of business talent in the country,” said Kumar.

Politicians have appointed trade negotiators who have never run a hot dog stand. When you have smart businessmen running departments, whether it’s Treasury, Commerce or Trade the results will be different, he added.

Kumar said, “They [Modi and Trump] will be best friends – not only the two nations will be best friends, but these two guys will be best friends. Donald Trump knows about Modi through me. He is very keen to learn about him.

“My belief is that trade with India is going to increase when you have a fair trade deal. A business that supports him is innovative and creative in expanding trade with India. I expect trade to double to $250 billion within one to two years,” he added.

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