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Trump India visit won't produce trade deal but will fire up political bases, law scholar says

Fri, 02/21/2020

LAWRENCE — President Donald Trump will visit India on Feb. 24 and 25 and will discuss trade with President Narendra Modi. The two sides are not expected to reach a trade deal, however, despite diplomats from both nations engaging in talks before the visit. Raj Bhala, an international trade law expert at the University of Kansas, is available to discuss the visit, lack of trade agreement, obstacles to the deal, future of trade between the nations and related topics with media.

Bhala, the Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the KU School of Law, has followed trade negotiations between the United States and India and can speak about any future deals, ongoing negotiations, talks between the nations’ respective diplomats, terms of a trade agreement, political influences on the talks, Trump administration trade deals, the two nations’ other respective trade deals and other aspects of the negotiations.

“The American president and Indian prime minister, leaders of the most powerful and largest, respectively, democracies in human history, will not strike a middling managed trade deal, much less an ambitious free trade agreement,” Bhala said. “But their economic nationalism will fire up their ‘America First’ and ‘Hindutva’ political bases.”

Bhala has a global reputation in the scholarship of international trade law and has worked extensively in India. He writes a regular column, “On Point,” for Bloomberg Quint in India and has written numerous books and journal articles on international trade. Works include the acclaimed four-volume “International Trade Law: A Comprehensive Textbook,” now in its fifth edition and the two-volume treatise “Modern GATT Law” and “TPP Objectively: Legal, Economic, and National Security Dimensions of CPTPP,” second edition. He practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before entering academia and currently serves as senior adviser to Dentons in Kansas City. Bhala has worked in more than 25 countries, including India, throughout the European Union, Asia, Turkey, Australia, England and Israel.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu and/or Bhala directly at bhala@ku.edu



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