South Asia and Beyond

‘Defence Underpins India-U.S. Partnership But The Future Lies In Trade’

NEW DELHI: The absence of a trade deal between India and the U.S. could be glossed over for now given the Trump visit, but going forward, India could open itself to punitive measures by the U.S. Trade Representative. There could be more bad news if the Democrats defeat Trump in the polls later this year, South Asia scholar Jeff Smith of the Heritage Foundation told StratNews Global in an interview in Delhi. He said India’s domestic policies in Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act could come under scrutiny and possibly pressure to scale back. Smith believes the strategic/defence relationship is currently the bedrock of India-U.S. ties, and Delhi’s plans to buy maritime and attack helicopters are among the first major defence deals it has struck with the Trump administration. Nevertheless, the key issue is trade and expect Trump to return to it after the hoopla over his visit fades.

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Surya Gangadharan

Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.