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Impact of the U.S. Presidential Election on the U.S.-India Relationship
By Nandini Dash
| Category: U.S. India Relations

American politicians, citizens and overseas foreign policy experts all are waiting for the day   November 8, 2016 when United States of America president’s fate will be accumulated in the ballot box.  Result declaration and new president’s sworn in ceremony will take place in January 2017. After eight years of Democratic Party rule now anticipation is whether Democratic or Republican party will be winner and how the new presidency will come through articulating its foreign policy.  India is closely monitoring this voting system where two names are clearly emerging to be the next commander-in-chief. They are Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.


To adduce the back drop of current US-India relationship it is going through amicable phase by the initiative of BJP leader and current prime minister of India Narendra Modi and Barack Obama. Besides political, commercial relations they have shown extra gesture of strategic goodwill by doing something first time between counterparts of two nations like Modi’s invitation to Obama to be chief guest of Indian Republic day parade. No doubt Modi has a big fan following among Indian Americans in the United States and many are in high-ranking positions of sitting government. Diplomacy keeps doors open for bi-lateral relations with any party or person in power. During Modi’s last visit and speech in American Congress while the Speaker was also present indicates which party or person comes to power relationship with India will be streamlined.


As digital connectivity becomes an inseparable part of contemporary life, cyber security growing to be major issue.  Aiming “international cyber stability” as a part of US foreign policy, India is the first external partner with which US signed blueprint on India-US Cyber Relationship. After China Indians are second largest foreign students studying in American universities. Forthcoming US president has to take all these factors into consideration both in bi-lateral cooperation and outlining US foreign policy in Asia. US nods India’s proposal to be permanent member of UN Security Council. India maintains its silent statesmanship in the matter of South China Sea. Most probably both countries and future leaders will keep intact these norms.


Donald Trump is a business man, show biz personality, owner of Miss America pageant. Under his ownership Nina Davuluri became first Miss America of Indian descent.  Trump quickly ascended to political power. Trump Organization has promulgated projects in three Indian cities. While domestic critics say business interest going to be hindrance for presidency yet time will tell how he is managing and alluring Indian talents. Not only that his business acumen might help to increase both country’s trade relation because he has vowed to slash taxes on business. Donald might bring some flexible policies which will be less complicated for commerce between India and America.


Hillary Clinton is an experienced politician. From 2009 to 2013 she served as Secretary of State of the USA. Besides being the first lady of US she is also known as the first female senator of New York City. In foreign affairs she has tried her hand in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. Hillary is the commissary of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton foundation. Though there was political storm regarding   discloser of sources of donation of their NGO yet it does some charity work in India.


Both presidential nominees are contesting neck to neck.  So, next year whoever becomes United States’ president either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump two of them are personally related to India. It depends on their majority in Congress; foreign policy attributes which will determine how she or he will navigate and enhance ambitious Indo-American voyage.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government.