NEW DELHI: With the US polls just around the corner, eyes are also on the fate of India-US ties as America votes for a new President. Though foreign relations do not influence the results of elections in a significant way, it is important to look at what could be in store for the India-US relations depending on who goes on to win the polls.
Experts say if Donald Trump retains power, India will be comforted by the continuity factor New Delhi has invested heavily in his administration. They, however, caution that irrespective of Trump or his rival, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, coming to power, bilateral ties will have their share of ups and downs.
“A Biden administration is likely to provide more concessions to India on issues like immigration and relief on H1Bs In particular. Biden is also likely to be less zero-sum in his approach toward the US-India trade and commercial relationship. But Biden is also likely to raise concern on socio-political issues of India that New Delhi may not necessarily want to be engaged on and considers internal in nature. There will also be a shift in focus on collaborating on issues like climate change and renewables which suffered a back seat in the Trump administration,” Kriti Upadhyaya, a researcher at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.
Harinder Sekhon, an expert on Indo-US relations, is of the opinion that ties have witnessed a steady strengthening and enjoy bipartisan support among both the Democrats and Republicans. “There will be no major policy shift under either Biden or Trump 2.0 but India will not be the main focus of their attention after the elections,” she said.
Upadhyaya said there could be more push back on immigration issues in a second Trump administration. “But Trump will not focus on India’s internal issues and has made great strides in our defence ties which will continue. The US-India ties will be key to Trump, especially as the US has moved a bit further from its other more traditional allies during his presidency. He will also be more confrontational than conciliatory with China and has used a tougher language for Pakistan than his predecessors - which is again a welcome for India,” she said.