By: Priyanka Saurabh
Recent US elections made it clear that Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States. He has defeated the Republican candidate and former President Donald Trump. America is the most influential country in the present world, so the change of power in America will have an impact on most of the countries of the world. For the first time in US history, a president has provoked a rebellion by his Navnaji brigade of right-wing supporters opposing the peaceful transfer of power. Today US Capitol is terrified of the rioters who attacked. Violence against the democracy is a blot on American constitutional democracy.
Well, how India-US relations will remain under the Biden administration in the future, it is still in the future. Under the Biden administration, India’s trade with the US can recover from the decline from 2017-18 onwards. A recent analysis by experts at CARE Ratings (Credit Rating Agency) shows that in the last 20 years, India has always had a trade surplus (exports over imports) with the US. The trade surplus increased from US $ 5.2 billion in 2001-02 to the US $ 17.3 billion in 2019-20. In 2017-18, the trade surplus reached the US $ 21.2 billion and was reduced to some extent.
In 2019-20, India exported goods worth US $ 53 billion to the US – which accounted for about 17% of all Indian exports in that year and turn imported goods worth US $ 35.7 billion – accounting for almost all Indian imports was 7.5%. India imports about 5% of the United States services from the world. The US is the fifth-largest source for foreign direct investment (FDI – investment in physical assets inside India) in India. Only Mauritius, Singapore, Netherlands, and Japan have invested more than 2000 FDI. The US accounts for one-third of all foreign portfolio investment (i.e. investment in financial assets) in India.
The visa issue affects the prospects of Indian youth far more than the youth of any other country. Under President Trump, who severely closed the visa system due to his policy of “America First”, India suffered the most. A visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign employees in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. In 2019, President Donald Trump terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary under the GSP trade program as a developing nation, after determining that it had not assured the US that it would allow its markets will provide “equitable and fair access”.
India was India’s largest beneficiary with imports of US $ 5.7 billion after being given duty-free status to the US in 2017. Other points of contention between India and the US – such as the tricky issue of data localization or the capping of prices of drugs and medical devices – are a chance to move towards a resolution. Also, under the Trump administration, US sanctions on Iran severely limited India’s cheap crude oil sourcing. On China, it is more likely that a Biden administration would help India against China, rather than clubbing the two together. Under Trump’s leadership, the US was separating itself from the Paris Climate Treaty, while India is making all efforts to upgrade the environment. Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and this could help countries like India to deal with major challenges both technically and financially on this front.
Although some US Congressmen and women raised red flags on the status of human rights with the proposed nationwide National Register of Civil Rights (NRC) after revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act were issues of data localization or capping of prices of drugs and medical devices see a better chance of moving towards a new resolution as we move away from President Trump’s radical approach to the practicality of a Biden presidency. In the Trump administration, the US was moving away from international organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and the Human Rights Commission. India is in favor of the importance of global institutions. In this situation, there were disturbances in the policies of India and the Trump administration. Perhaps now the United States will understand the importance of these global institutions under Joe Biden’s administration.
The report of the American Commission on International Religious Freedom described India as a country of religious persecution, for which the Trump administration’s response was neutral, but Biden administration’s vice president Kamala Harris made her statement against it. At the same time, the Trump administration was neutral on the subject of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, violation of democracy, Citizenship Amendment Act, caste and communal violence, while Kamala Harris reacted against India on these issues. Joe Biden, who visited India in 2013, reacted strongly to the migration of people from India to other countries. The quad (India, US, Australia, and Japan) being built to stop China was the key point of the Trump administration’s strategies and became so effective that even Germany was considering joining it. But it cannot be said that Quad Biden will gain so much importance in administration as well.
India should be ready to have a strong dialogue on sensitive issues. Combined with the control and economic recovery of the Covid-19 infections, the US can again provide growth for the global economy. Countries like India need to boost their exports and grow. In the new era, both countries should treat the economic dimension and the economic dimension with more priority. Both governments should adopt the potential that produces mutual prosperity. Only then will American democracy prevail and India’s hopes will remain with America in the future. (The writer is a Research Scholar, Poetry, independent journalist and columnist and can be reached via Twitter- https://twitter.com/pari_saurabh)