The underlying meaning behind Trump’s visit to India
Donald Trump’s visit to India at face value seems something ordinary relation-building but beneath the surface, there have been tensions especially regarding trade between the two. The US-China trade war is not the only trade war going on, India also dabbled in trade sanctions against the US. One of the very first actions trump took when coming into office was to charge 100% tariffs on Harley- Davidson motorcycles, along with this he also raised the import duty on Indian steel and aluminum products among many more. Trump recently stripped India of privileges enjoyed by some developing nations.
India did not take these retaliations quietly, India has retaliated over the last few years by raising import duties on several American products as well, and there have been attempts at de-escalation of trade sanctions but to no avail. Seeing Trump visit India might signal a new wave for free-flowing trade or trade which might be in favor of India. Easing of the tensions in the trade is beneficial to both countries.
Trump’s visit might not have been solely for trade deals, since the increasing tensions between China and America on all fronts recently the extensively raging trade war between them, the dispute has seen both the countries impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods. Trump has been long accusing China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft. Whereas China perceives that America is trying to curb its influence and rise as a global economic power.
With Chinese markets and manufacturing being at risk Trump looks south of China, to India has India also has a huge and cheap labor force that can produce cheap goods for America. Not only that India has the second-largest English speaking population right after America itself making trade and manufacture much easier to conduct.
Trump can be seen trying to improve bonds with India when he dodges questions which brings doubt to India, for example when he was asked about his position on CAA and NRC, Donald Trump said, “I don’t want to say anything on that. It is up to India. I hope it will take the right decision for its people.”
China has started an enormous project which spans three continents and touches over 60 countries, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will cost over a trillion dollars. The plan is to make it easier for the world to trade with China, by funding roads, railways, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. China is loaning trillions of dollars to any country that’s willing to participate and it’s been a big hit with the less democratic countries in the region. This makes the BRI a risky plan as well. But China is pushing forward because its goals are not strictly economic, they’re also geopolitical.
Trump’s visit to India definitely had ulterior motives to it mainly trying to maintain its position has a superpower as well as not being left behind when China comes at it full force, Trump is trying to improve America’s relations as America has much to gain from being friendly with India, especially when a treat named China is right around the corner.