Here's Why Donald Trump Is Threatening India Over Hydroxychloroquine Exports

Meryl Sebastian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at Hyderabad House, on February 25, 2020 in New Delhi.

A day after US President Donald Trump said that India could face retaliation if it doesn’t clear the exports of hydroxychloroquine, the Central government said it had lifted its ban on export of the drug “in view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic”

The ministry of external affairs said India had decided to licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities “to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities.”

“We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” the ministry said.

Last week Trump said he had sought help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the sale of hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the US to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients in his country, hours after India banned the export of the anti-malarial drug.

Trump is deeply invested in the idea that the malaria drugs will show a benefit, and has personally pressured US federal health officials to make them available, Reuters had reported on Saturday.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported Trump has personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.

The report also said: “If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president.”

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On Monday, Trump said that India has been taking advantage of the US on trade for many years and he would be surprised if the country was to stop export of hydroxychloroquine to the US.

“So, I would be surprised if that were his...

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