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    December 2016

Will Indo-US friendship march to a new tune?


As the executive head of one of the most powerful countries, the choice of the US President is seen as having its repercussions on the rest of the globe. Likewise, the relationship between India and America also has a direct impact on the geo-political and economic strategies of many other nations. With the recent win of Donald Trump as President of the US, the world is keeping a keen watch on how the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies will move forward.
Since the Bill Clinton Administration in the US, the relations between India and America have warmed up to a level where the idea of their estrangement seems far-fetched. Indo-US ties under the Barack Obama Administration further strengthened on a variety of fronts, including those of defence, economy and terrorism. Therefore, it is but obvious that Trump has inherited a foreign policy towards India that has been on an upturn. 
Our Cover Story which focuses on the developmental work being done by America in India under the aegis of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reflects the bonhomie between the two countries. It also indicates that irrespective of the change in leadership at the helm in the US, the relations between India and America are strong enough to weather personal discretions of the American President.
However, at the same time, we also cannot ignore the fallout of a possible reform of the H1B visa system by the incoming Trump Administration. Indian outsourcing giants like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are heavy users of H1B visas. The Indian IT industry has genuine concerns as Trump has shifted his position several times on the H1B programme. Early in his campaign, Trump had proposed restricting the programme and criticised the US Administration for giving away coveted entry-level IT jobs to workers flown in from cheaper countries like India. Our Foreign Desk discusses what can be the possible areas of concern for India under the Trump regime. 
Though some experts are raising concerns that tough trade beliefs of the newly elected US President could negatively impact India, it remains to be seen if they will have any influence on Indo-US ties and can drastically change the tone of America’s engagement with India.  
Meanwhile, we can pin our hopes on the fact that Trump had announced his enthusiasm for the Modi Government, even if it was before he won the Presidential race.


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