"I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi. We are trying very hard to make better trade deals with India. But they're very good traders. They're very good negotiators, the best," the US president said.
"So we're working and it's moving along. India is the world's largest democracy and the relationship between our two countries can act as a bulwark for freedom, prosperity and peace," he said as Indian-Americans at the White House applauded.
Last year, President Trump had celebrated Diwali at the Oval Office with his cabinet minister Nikki Haley and other senior officials along with a few Indian-Americans.
"As we light the diya in the White House and we join in the fellowship with all of those who light lamps in their own home, cities and places of worship. America is a land of faith and we are truly fortunate to have these wonderful traditions woven into the tapestry of our national life," he said.
President Trump had invited the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, his wife Dr Avina Sarna, and his special assistant Pratik Mathur to be present during the White House Diwali celebrations
"I think, we are looking at one of the best times we ever had in India-US relationship," Sarna said, to which the US president said: "I think, that's true. Very close, closer than ever before."
The first White House Diwali celebrations was held in 2003 under the then president George W Bush, however, he didn't attend the ceremony.
Since 2003, Diwali celebrations at the White House has become an annual tradition. In 2009, former President Barack Obama had lit the ceremonial lamp in the East room of the White House.
In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated Diwali.
"I'm honored to host this beautiful ceremony at the White House. Very, very special people. We're gathered today to celebrate a very special holiday observed by Buddhist, Sikhs and Jains throughout the United States and around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family and friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New year: very special new year," the president said.
Last year, President Trump had celebrated Diwali at the Oval Office with his cabinet minister Nikki Haley