H1-B visa issue, defence deals, handling China: How Joe Biden may take forward India-US ties if he comes to power

While it is still unsure who will win the Presidential Elections in the United States (US), India’s relationship with Washington is likely to get stronger in the days ahead. Over the last four years, Donald Trump maintained a healthy relationship with India and his bonhomie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quite famous. However, Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden has been a vocal critic of several Indian policies, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), but experts suggest that the outcome of the US Presidential elections won’t affect India’s ties with Washington and Biden as President “will be good for New Delhi”.
“Our relations with the US are really supported bipartisan support, you see it in Congress, you see it at the general public levels. We do believe that we’ve forged a relationship that today has withstood the test of your time , is extremely comprehensive and multi-faceted,” said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
“We not only share an equivalent values and principles but we even have an equivalent strategic vision in what might be bilateral, regional or multilateral relations,” he added.
Experts and political pundits too suggest that Biden, who served as Vice President during the Barack Obama government from 2008 to 2016, will continue to “maintain a strong relationship” with New Delhi and “work closely” with the Indian government to achieve ‘common goals’. So here’s a look at how Joe Biden may take forward India-US ties if he comes to power:
Defence ties:
Under the Obama government, India and therefore the US had signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), boosting defence ties. When Trump came to power, he only extended these ties because the two countries signed several defence agreements and held 2+2 minister dialogue. If Biden comes to power, it is expected that he will follow the path laid by Trump and Obama and strengthen India-US ties.
Tackling China:
Tackling China has been a common issue between India and the US. While Trump considers China a ‘foe’, Biden sees them as a ‘competitor’ and believes taking ‘economic steps’ to counter them. Experts say that he will likely work with India to counter the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific region and will try to bring stability in the region.
Business and trade:
If Biden comes to power, it is expected that business and trade ties between the two countries will have a positive impact. It is expected that Biden will likely take steps to ease trade tensions like President Obama did when he was in power.
“The latest research reveals that if Biden involves power by winning the White House, it’s likely to profit Indian investors by providing ‘potentially more favourable US trade policies and attract many newbies and experienced investors,” Moneycontrol quoted Ankit Agarwal, director at Alankit Ltd, as saying.
H1B visa:
The Trump administration has been quite hostile over immigration and wants to save ‘American interests’. Recently, Trump had suspended the H1B visa programme, impacting lakhs of Indians across the US. However, experts feel that Biden will likely have a soft stand on this issue and as he had said that he will “secure the values as a nation of immigrants”.
The Democratic candidate had also said that he will lift the H1B visa ban imposed by the Trump administration and will “increase the number of visas for permanent work-based immigration”.
Paris climate agreement:
The Trump administration has decided to formally exit the Paris climate agreement. His step is a big setback for India and climate experts suggest that it would lead to problems in cutting emissions globally.
“Even now, the US accounts for 1 / 4 of the world’s greenhouse emission emissions. When we talk of climate change, the problem occurs over a period of time and thus the historical responsibility of the US remains, to reduce their domestic emissions but also in providing finance,” News18 quoted Harjeet Singh of Action Aid as saying.
However, Biden has announced that has vowed that the US would rejoin the Paris climate accord on his first day in the White House. This move will likely be an enormous boost for India and therefore the move will safeguard New Delhi’s interests.

MD Foorqan

Motivational speaker, Storyteller, Content creator.Founder of KUMFOO MOTIVATION.

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