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Bad or better?

Bad or better?
Highlights

India cannot escape the impact of new US Presidency. Whether Trump regime will be bad or better is an elusive question. Will the campaigning Trump be similar or different from the man in the White House? 

India cannot escape the impact of new US Presidency. Whether Trump regime will be bad or better is an elusive question. Will the campaigning Trump be similar or different from the man in the White House?

The recent experience with Presidents of different political hues indicates that the Indo-US relations treaded a steady path. More or less, bilateral relations have largely been insulated from the political changes in either of the countries.

There has been more continuity than change in the New Delhi-Washington interface. The reason is that the strategic and business interests in both the countries define the diplomacy rather than the views of the parties or their leaders.

Donald Trump is protectionist to the core. His assertion of ‘America first’ is considered to be the indicator to judge his foreign policy.

But, more or less, every President of United Sates maintained a similar policy. But, Donald Trump was vocal to appeal to his constituency at home.

However, if the protectionist Trump prevails over the White House, there can be further irritants in India-US trade, which is already heavily biased towards the latter.

The major concern for India during the Trump regime would be his perception that H1B visas hurt job prospects for locals.

The Indian middle class and the IT industry alike are worried over Trump’s possible moves to curtail Indian professionals entering US.

His hawkish foreign trade policy can even seriously dampen the outsourcing business for India.

However, outsourcing of work to countries like India benefits the US more. The American industry which has to operate in a cut-throat competition has a hunger to cut costs of production. Cheap Indian workforce cannot be ignored.

Meanwhile, Trump advocates tax cuts for corporate sector. This would lure back the US investors to motherland. Nations like India may have to forego foreign investment when this reverse flow begins.

However, Trump was very critical towards China and Pakistan. India believes it would be a strategic advantage for it. His repeated assertion to curb the menace of Islamic terrorism also brings hope for India.

But, will he focus exclusively on ISIS and lose sight of the South Asian perpetrator is a matter of concern for India.

Pakistan is intricately embedded into US strategic interests. Can Trump break this to tame the exporter of global terror is a million dollar question.

However, Trump’s hawkish positions on trade and immigration are not India-specific. It’s difficult to predict Trump at White House. He is highly inconsistent on many issues.

American Presidential nominees are also politicians. Normally election eve rhetoric need not necessarily translate into policy action.

Reading too much into statements to assess public policy that too foreign policy is erroneous as strategic interests define policy contours.

Political interests determine public utterances. India should anyhow be prepared for Trumpocalypse.

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