Trump: The Beginning of the End

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Yes, despite being harsh, the world (excluding Russia) will have to acknowledge the reality of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. He was indeed the most controversial and undefined candidate for the number one citizen of the country. His journey was utterly unforeseen; shunned by his own party leaders, poor performance in the presidential debates and atrocious statements against minorities, women and LGBT community, he still managed to pull off an abrupt victory. His presidency commenced with violent protests in support of an entire gender on the streets of Washington D.C. and calls for urgent impeachment. Trump will take over a relatively stable economy and is all set to alter world economy and politics, and India is driven to monitor what connections it can draw from the new policies and agreements.

In his inaugural speech, Trump said the country would follow two simple rules; “buy American and hire American” signaling his strategy to protect American workers with changes in H-1B visa program. The world’s largest economy has been a hub for professionals seeking employment, especially for Indian firms outsourcing services worth $108 billion. The new churn up is envisioned to be a reason for pain and misfortune for entry level job seekers since Trump has moved for a raise in minimum wage limit required to gain an H-1B visa, therefore, proficient professionals are expected not to be swayed by the new policy since they’re already earning much higher than demanded to procure H-1B visa.

President Trump has reinstated the Global Gag policy which bans funding to non-governmental foreign organizations, prohibiting them from encouraging abortion and investing in abortion-related healthcare in their countries. The Global Gag policy was introduced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been a teeter-totter affair since then, with Republican presidents reconstituting it and Democrats repealing the rule. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) spent $21 million on Family Planning and Reproductive Health in India in 2015 itself. If the funding is taken out of play, there will be fallouts nobody would’ve thought of, considering the amount of contraceptives granted by USAID in order to avoid pregnancy.

1President Trump had designed his campaign by roasting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal which aimed for affiliating countries accounting for more than 40% of the world’s GDP taken together. TPP is believed to be directed against China and India as the US go partners with most of India’s trading neighbors. TPP not only does contains compulsion to join the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), it also outlaws child labor and forced labor, encloses environmental commitments and obligations in form of intellectual property rights such as trademarks, copyrights and patents and most important from India’s perspective, it forces high emphasis on standards. Anything that goes into countries that are a party to TPP will be subject to a range of technical/mechanical/sanitary standards and many countries (including India) have understandably resisted international moves to upgrade to the standards of goods and services that are being traded across the border on many fronts. TPP after its ratification would’ve hurt India directly and indirectly in the sense of its unfitness to meet higher standards to export goods to members of TPP and also the failure to export its produce to countries striving to meet the benchmarks of TPP. Now, having a memorandum signed confirming the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP, India will be at ease regarding its concerns over the potential demise of its trade deals with Europe, Japan and America itself.

One of the major issues in America presently is the loss of five million manufacturing jobs over the past 15 years, mainly to China because of its competence in producing goods that America wants at the lower cost. U.S. based companies cart raw material to China because of the low assembly cost which are shipped back to America but are weighted as imports. America’s trade deficit with China was recording breaking $367 billion in 2015. The new administration has promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and the only way out easy-as-pie is a combination of tariff and non-tariff barriers. These barriers would result in loss of millions of jobs in China which could transform into a period of recession sparking a political unrest and ultimately a scenario of revolution. In light of the recent lows in India-China relations over disputed territories, China’s loss is India’s gain.

While President Trump was campaigning to assume the office, he had declared Pakistan as one of the most unstable and volatile countries decked with nukes and leaders who aren’t responsible enough to administer them, and examined “India as the check to Pakistan”. This statement sets a completely different tone as none of the U.S. Presidents in recent past have taken a clear stance towards the India-Pakistan issue. Former President Barack Obama signaled some involvement during his first term but ultimately stood strong on the long-standing U.S. policy of “encouraging both sides to improve bilateral relations.” As a matter of fact, Pakistan has swallowed US aid of more than $30 billion since 2002 pretending to fight terrorism. Trump has explicitly stated “Pakistan as a problem in Asia and India a solution to the problem” and there are high chances he might threaten to cut US aid.

But as the thumb rule of politics suggests, people who aren’t in the government seem to have all the answers about policies and when they form the government, they’re confronted with the realities and complexities of handling international affairs. So, President Trump’s policies towards India and Pakistan is yet to be brought to light.

About the Author:

Parth Gupta (Dept. of Economics, PU Campus)

Parth Gupta (Dept. of Economics, PU Campus)

I’m 18. I play a bit of guitar. Eternally on tap to share good music. Only problem with political jokes is that they get elected, and I write about them.

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