Stronger India-US relations a common point for Trump and Biden: Jaishankar

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? It does not matter who wins the US presidential elections in November this year as far as India as concerned, going by what India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar says.

“I actually believe that India has bipartisan, or in a sense non-partisan, support in American politics. Our footprint is very wide and so is our acceptability,” Mr Jaishankar, also a former ambassador of India to the US, said in an interview with the Hindustan Times. “Different sets of politicians who disagree on many things agree on India. And I think that is a very good place to be,” the minister said.

“If you look at the last four American presidents, two Republicans and two Democrats — each very different from the other. Yet, each raised the level of relationship with India further,” Mr Jaishankar said in response to a question if Donald Trump was better for India, or Joe Biden.

“Each President has developed on the legacy of the previous one when it comes to India. And if you follow the debates in the US now, you will find many differences between the competing candidates, but India is a common point,” Mr Jaishankar said.

Backing Mr Jaishankar’s assessment, Manish Chand, Founder-CEO of India Writes Network and India and the World magazine, said that the trajectory of India-US relations is set to be on a continuous upward course regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. Both Trump and Biden have been ardently courting the 4-million strong Indian-American community as they will play a pivotal role in battleground states where the contest has been decided in the past with wafer-thin margins, said Mr Chand.

Placing the India factor in a larger perspective, Mr Chand underlined that a host of geopolitical and geo-economic factors are set to propel India and the US into a tighter strategic embrace regardless of who is in the White House.