Obama India trip | Is $200 million a day really needed?


Obama's India trip most likely will not cost the reported $200 million a day. Image: Flickr / mountaineerpics / CC-BY

Starting this weekend, President Obama is set to take a four-day trip to India. The Obama India trip is mostly for relationship building, and while no huge changes in the relationship are expected, it has been highly anticipated. Some, though, are questioning whether this trip is really worth the reported $200 million a day cost.

Obama India trip cost may be over-reported

One Indian news outlet reported the cost of the Obama India trip at $200 million per day. Though the White House declines to state exactly what the cost of the trip is, it is likely far below the $200 million per day estimate. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor addressed this India trip cost rumor:

“Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it’s safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated.”

Obama India trip for relationship building

Obama’s four-day trip to India is mostly to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries. India trades about $40 billion per year with the United States, and the countries also have a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. India’s foreign minister, Nirupama Rao, addressed Obama’s India trip by saying “We are not at a stage in our relationship perhaps for another big bang, but certainly there will be positive outcomes.”

Why presidential travel has a high cost

The Obama India trip will definitely cost several million dollars a day. Whenever presidents travel, they take along a large portion of the White House with them. This is not only to ensure that they continue working while away from the office but to address any major issues that come up during the trip. Most of the cost of any trip is actually for security for the President, and on trips such as this, media organizations pay their own way – with a no fax payday loan if necessary. In short, the Obama India trip isn’t going to cost U.S. taxpayers any more or less than a usual international trip for the president.


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