Political inclination of US president often affects the diplomatic policies. When Mr .Trump elected as US president, there was a wide spread scepticism about trump’s presidency in India. So discussion about effect of Trump presidency is very much important for this year mains.
- India-US partnership has been one of the few areas that have been non-controversial and a bright spot for the USA on the foreign policy front in recent years.
- India-US relations enjoy bipartisan support in the US Congress and across the board among the US citizens.
- India’s past experiences with US presidents show that a Republican president is generally better for us than a Democrat one. But in recent history, Indo-US relations have broadly stuck to a steady path.
- Donald Trump has hence inherited a vigorous and vibrant relationship between India and the USA. It is expected that Trump will do all that is necessary to take the bilateral partnership to newer heights.
- H1B: Trump, underlining his “America First” policy, signed an order last week that he said will reform the visa program for foreign technical workers. H1B visas admit 65,000 workers and another 20,000 graduate student workers each year. Most of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms. India is affected by the order given that its IT companies bring workers on H1B visas. Many Indians are returning home, thanks to Trump’s policy.
- China: With Trump going back on his questioning of One China policy and requiring Beijing’s help to rein in a recalcitrant North Korea, it seems Trump will look to establish a working relation with China. This could mean bad news for India which had been eyeing the possibility of Trump employing a more muscular approach vis-a-vis Beijing.
- Afghanistan: The US priority in Afghanistan seems to be to fight the IS while India would like the Trump administration to go after the rebel Taliban, which is believed to have the support of Pakistan and is intent on destabilising the Ashraf Ghani government.
- US tax cuts could mean bad news for “Make in India” in case US businesses find corporate tax rates more attractive at home.
- Trump administration also supported India’s membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “The United States welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for the membership.
Challenges and Future prospects
- India and the US are “natural partners” on a range of political, economic and security issues and the two countries have a mutual desire for global stability, the Trump administration said in a report submitted in the US Congress.
- Trump has mostly targeted China and Mexico for taking away American manufacturing jobs and blamed them for shutdown of industries. Only on a few occasions has he criticised the off-shoring of software and IT jobs to India. Indian companies In the near future, the US government will be persuaded by its industry and will realise that the competitiveness of the US industry is critically dependent on the specialised and technically sophisticated work performed by Indian software engineers etc.
- Outlining a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, Trump said Washington could no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations. This position will help India in bolstering her position against terrorism in various multi-lateral platforms.
- Trump also keen into active Indian support and help for restructuring Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. This provides a greater opportunity for India.
- As part of “Strategic Energy Partnership”, the US is going to export natural gas at a suitable price that’s acceptable to President Trump and clean coal. President Trump wants India to conclude the “contractual agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six nuclear reactors.
- India –US coordinated development of Afghanistan will generate more influence on Afghanistan.
- Any negative development between the US and Iran is not good for India.
- India has long eyed the Chabahar port as its gateway to Central Asia and Afghanistan, areas it cannot reach by land without passing through Pakistan, its strategic adversary.
- But the nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the Obama administration against Iran included “secondary sanctions” – which meant that any company, government or individual that did business with the sanctioned entities could also face American sanctions.
- That fear kept India away from investing in Chabahar till the nuclear deal Tehran struck with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the European Union in October 2015, under which the secondary sanctions were lifted.
- But the sanctions slapped by the Trump administration, after twin Iranian ballistic missile tests, have forced the foreign office into a quandary: meeting India’s commitments could risk the future of its investments in Iran.
- Since taking office, Trump has moved to gut Obama’s signature climate change regulations, signed executive orders to aid the fossil fuel industry and installed a critic of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as its head.
- Trump criticized India on Paris climate deal. Trump took a position that India signed Paris climate deal for availing “billions and billions and billions” of dollars from developed nations.
- India should up its diplomatic and policy game in response. Part of this strategy can be to work with Japan, Europe or even new strategic partners like the United Arab Emirates on accelerating India’s own transition to renewable energy at an even more aggressive pace than today. It also needs to give more thought to making the International Solar Alliance more tangible. New Delhi’s stance has traditionally been to be a responsible climate player by focusing on its own domestic energy transition. Its accomplishments on that front are praiseworthy. But Trump’s action means it should contemplate a more global role.
Ministry of external affairs remarked that, the relationship between India and the US since Trump took charge were growing with the “same speed” as was the case when Barack Obama was President. India should employ its diplomatic efforts to resolve the minor issues.
India –USA relationship is in a steady path irrespective of presidency. Analyse
Trump administration is expecting more engaging role of India in regional issues. Comment