More ups than downs in India ties - The Hindu -02/11/2020
India – U.S.A relations.
Trajectory of India- U.S.A relations under President Trump:
With the victory of Mr. Trump in the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, officials in the Modi government were struck with apprehensions.
Trump delivered a few blows to India’s expectations from the U.S., including:
A decision on visa restrictions.
A hard-hitting speech on India as the “tariff king”.
Clubbing India and China both on trade and on receiving an unfair advantage on climate change, which was quoted as one of the reasons the U.S. was walking out of the Paris climate accord.
The invitation to PM Modi to the White House in 2017 set into motion a more positive foreign policy framework for India.
Major highlights were Mr. Trump’s South Asia policy, and the U.S.’s decision to revive the Quad and rename its Pacific Command as the ‘Indo-Pacific’ Command.
In 2018, India saw an impressive list of strategic gains:
The Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA)- 1 categorisation for India.
The first 2+2 dialogue.
The signing of the COMCASA in a shape acceptable to India.
The approval by Congress for a general waiver provision in the CAATSA.
A (temporary) waiver for India on Iran oil purchases and Chabahar.
U.S Policies with respect to China and Pakistan:
Given the 2017 Doklam conflict with China and continuing cross-border attacks by groups from Pakistan, Mr. Trump’s policy towards both India’s two neighbours became the U.S.’s most important foreign policy shift.
The U.S. suspended its military assistance payments, military sales and led the way on Pakistan’s grey-listing at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to designate more terrorists at the UN Security Council, including those that targeted India.
The U.S. offered India moral and military support to counter Chinese aggression, led its own attack on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its 5G telecom push and vowed (not yet realised) a counter to China’s loans to countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Regardless of the positives, several Trump decisions have come as a shock to India.
The decision to forge talks with the Taliban, in concert with concessions to Pakistan in Afghanistan.
Withdrawal of India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for exporters.
Developments over the past one year:
President Donald Trump has ended his first term in office with a big push for ties with India.
The U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in India for talks just a week before the elections.
Two rallies were held with the Indian Prime Minister in Houston and in Ahmedabad.
Unlike many other countries, and leaders in the American opposition party, Mr. Trump has not raised objections to the decision on Article 370, the arrest of leaders and telecom ban in Kashmir, or on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).