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Monday, November 21, 2016

What will happen to India-U.S. relations after Trump assumed Presidency?


Trump seems a crazy guy to be in the seat of the world's most powerful person. He might not be that good for the US and by extension he might not be that good for the friends such as India too. At worst, US and India relations will be ignored. But, there is little chance of a hostile play between the two nations.

Neutral:
  1. People said similar things of Reagan too - another hawkish, crazy outsider. He sure indirectly hurt India [by helping create Taliban & Al Qaeda], but overall turned out to be a lot less crazy than what people thought in 1980.
  2. Again, in his foreign policy he mentions very little of India [usually the same old one-liner "outsourcing" blah blah that all candidates religiously utter these days] and that is good. Unlike China, he is less likely to have a trade war with India, as US-India trade is much more balanced & not as big as trade with Europe or East Asia.
  3. Senate has a much more control over the foreign policy and that is not changing much.
  4. He might be pushing for reduction of H1B visas, but frankly it is far too low on his priority based on his campaign speeches.
Good:
  1. Like Sanders, he plans to pull US troops out of Asia and that is mostly good for India. US involvement in the Middle East is harmful for everyone [other than monarchs of nations such as Saudi Arabia]. In general, a Bill Clintonesque focused attention on domestic economy will benefit India.
  2. If US is going to make enemies out of East Asia, West Asia, Latin America and Europe not as pleased with him, India could be a side beneficiary of an increased attention.
  3. He is a businessman and for his craziness, he could be more pragmatic than what he conveys to his hawkish supporters.
  4. He would not be signing TPP and that is good for India. TPP and other bilateral/multilateral sort of bypass the WTO.
Bad:
  1. US might start a trade war with China and would ask a "US vs Them" question to all the friends. That is bad for India. The latter doesn't want to pick and choose sides. It needs to maintain friendly relations with all.
  2. Trump could potentially reduce US-India trade by putting more barriers.
US-India trade is neither as big as US-China trade, nor Indian immigration is as big as Mexican immigration. Thus, in a Hawkish Trump administration India might fly under the radar as he has bigger fish to fry.

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