Donald Trump’s dumbfounding victory over Hillary Clinton in the US elections has sent shockwaves across the world. Many countries are now re-evaluating their stand with the US and what the shock result means to them.
India too is now gearing up with plans and probabilities of Trump’s move to the White House. We take a look at what the move might mean for us.
Trump belongs to the more conservative strand of the American thought which believes that free trade – and many of its accompaniments like immigration, outsourcing or treaties with countries – must be renegotiated on American terms. His stand could mean a rethink on the H1B visa issued to thousands of Indian professionals, mainly from the Information Technology sector, every year. Indian software giants like Infosys and TCS are likely to be hurt.
Trump’s economic campaign is to reduce corporate tax rates in the U.S to 15% from the present 35%. If Trump were to implement this plan, U.S businesses in India could be lured back to American soil as the advantages of cheap labour that India provides to these businesses would be neutralized.
Trump has promised to unleash America’s shale oil, natural gas and coal reserves to make U.S energy self-sufficient. India, like many other nations in the world, is at the mercy of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) when it comes paying a price for oil. A rise in the price of fuel bleeds India’s domestic oil companies, throws the government’s fiscal deficit targets in disarray and leads to a spike in the prices of essential goods.
On a more positive front, the President-elect has used strong words on the need to curtail ISIS and curb immigration from countries that export terror. This would comfort India, which is constantly under threat from the terrorism.
Also when it comes to Pakistan, the Modi government may find one of its biggest allies in Trump who once called India’s neighbour ‘probably the most dangerous country in the world’.
Also, Trump’s open disdain for China, reflected in him calling it one of the main adversaries of the US, could put India at an advantage. The Republican’s plans to label China a ‘currency manipulator’ and impose more taxes if Beijing fails to renegotiate trade deals might be a boost for the Indian economy.