After 100 day mark, Indian envoy sees promise in India-US relations under Trump
The Dollar Business Bureau
Former Indian Ambassador to the US, Arun Singh, spoke at length about the progression of India-US ties in the first 100 days of Trump's presidency.
With the end of April 2017 marking the 100-day milestone of Trump's reign as the leader of the free world, many have expressed dissatisfaction with his rather capricious style of ruling. Be it Trump reneging on his own words or him lacking the wherewithal to get Congress to pass his reforms, his performance so far has been the subject of much public derision.
On the other hand, Indian diplomat Arun Singh, who has seen India-US relations enhance during most of Bush's and Obama's tenure, backs the new US administration and sees much promise in its attitude towards India.
“As the engagement of the past hundred days has shown, India is clearly seen as an important interlocutor, with some convergence of interest, and potential for an even stronger mutually beneficial partnership,” he said.
While taking note of a few hurdles Trump faced in delivering on election promises, Singh also said that the new President had successfully stepped out of TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and got Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA, as promised. While some decisive action has been shown in attacking ISIS, relations with China have taken a U-turn.
In return for China's cooperation in curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Trump may have softened his anti-China rhetoric – a focal point of his election campaign.
With respect to India, Singh said that a number of high-level diplomatic visits and meetings between India and USA have already taken place during the first hundred days. Citing US National Security Advisor H R McMaster's visit to India and Arun Jaitley's meet with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, he averred that there is now bipartisan support in the US for an enhanced bilateral relationship with India.
Recognising the H1-B visa issue as one that will deeply impact Indian tech companies and personnel, Singh said that there were 'no doubt' a few areas of concern. Trump's tax cut proposals, which, if implemented, will further stretch US trade deficit, and raise interest rates – affecting India indirectly.
Singh also remarked that a 100-day period is insufficient to form conclusions about the new administration's foreign policy.
Once the spotlight shifts from unreal campaign promises which cannot be realised due to constraints on power, the policy direction may assume a more logical and defined shape.