NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began official meetings in India’s capital on Wednesday amid growing tensions over trade and tariffs that have strained the partners’ ties.
India imposed tariffs on 28 US products, including apples and almonds, on June 16 in retaliation for the US ending India’s preferential trade status on June 1 and imposing higher duties on products including aluminium and steel.
Pompeo met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday morning. He is later scheduled to meet his counterpart S Jaishankar.
“Working together to further deepen our strategic partnership, Secretary Pompeo called on PM Narendra Modi to exchange views on various aspects of Indo-US relationship,” spokesman for the ministry of external affairs Raveesh Kumar, said in a Twitter post.
Pompeo arrived in New Delhi late on Tuesday after visiting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan on a trip aimed at building a global coalition to counter Iran.
His visit is the first high-level engagement between the two countries since Modi’s reelection last month.
The countries call each other strategic partners despite retaliatory tariffs imposed on some of each other’s goods this month.
The visit also comes before the scheduled meeting between President Donald Trump and Modi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Japan later this week.