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The Future of India with Joe Biden’s America

The Biden administration will be open to advancing ties with IndiaUnited States Senator Mike Warner

On the 20th of January 2021, Mr Joseph R. Biden will take the oath of office to become the 46th President of the United States of America. However, the impact that this new President will have is most definitely going to exceed the borders of his own nation. Being one of the strongest nations in the world, the President of the United States is among the most influential world leaders on the planet. Consequently, it is important to understand how this new President is going to impact the world. In particular, what Joe Biden’s presidency holds for the future of India. In this regard, this article will aim at understanding 3 key points regarding the relationship of the US and India: immigration, foreign affairs and finally, trade. 

foreign affairs

History of Bilateral Relations

Before we get into the future, it is imperative to talk about the past first. The relationship between the US and India has been co-operative and positive for the most part of their 73-year history. Moreover, Presidents from both major parties in the US, the Democrats and the Republicans have seen India as an ally. For example, Democratic President John F. Kennedy supported India with aid during the 1962 Indo-Sino war. Furthermore, India and the US even signed new frameworks for defence ties which called for improved defence cooperation and counter-terrorism under Republican President George W. Bush.

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However, relations were strained during the late 20th century when India tested nuclear weapons, receiving international condemnation and sanctions, especially from the US and its allies. In addition to this, the US even supported Pakistan during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Nonetheless, relations have improved significantly in the 21st century with multiple treaties, state visits and alliances to boost the two nations’ relationship. Therefore, Democrat Joe Biden walks into a White House that already considers India as an ally. 


Under the Trump Administration, immigration was gravely impacted, especially for students and asylum seekers. Trump’s “America First” strategy was firmly against employing foreign nationals and gaining visas became significantly harder. In fact, Trump has frozen one of the most popular visas for Indian nationals- the H1B, citing the rising unemployment rate among Americans due to COVID-19. The H1B visa is granted to foreign nationals who have been hired by companies based in the USA. The key beneficiaries of the aforementioned are individuals from South Asia, especially from India and China which is why the temporary discontinuation of the same impacts Indians and Chinese the most. President Trump has also temporarily frozen the granting of Green Cards, which allows foreign nationals to live and work for a set duration of time in the United States.


Nevertheless, this is likely to change after Biden assumes office. Biden’s entire campaign has been pro-immigration. He has said in multiple speeches and interviews that immigrants are a “strength of the United States”. Biden has also pledged to increase the number of work visas. He has stated that he will increase “employment-based green cards by country, which have kept so many Indian families in waiting for too long,”. Finally, Biden has claimed that he will create a roadmap which will provide citizenship for nearly 500,000 Indians. Therefore, Indians aspiring to live or to work in the USA should most definitely be grateful that Biden has been elected! 

Foreign Affairs 

Even though current President Donald Trump maintained a pro-India stance on the Sino-Indo dispute and even the Indo-Pak dispute, President Joe Biden might bring a brighter future for India when it comes to supporting its foreign policy. Biden’s support for India can be seen in his administration with Barack Obama from 2009-16 where he was Vice President and his tenure in the United States Senate. In 2016, President Obama and Vice-President Biden called India a “Major Defence Partner”, giving India access to military equipment from the United States.

Moreover, Biden was also a strong supporter of the Civil Nuclear Agreement between the two nations whilst being the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, getting the bill to pass under the George W. Bush Administration. Finally, Biden and Obama were also strong supporters of the idea of getting India permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The UNSC is the strongest body of the UN and elects 10 member states each year along with 5 permanent members which are Russia, USA, UK, France and China.

Along with this, Biden has already made some harsh remarks on India’s rival, China. Biden has said that the Chinese government “abuses on trade, technology, [and] human rights” and has called upon the USA’s allies to hold China accountable for the same. Overall, Biden will most definitely support India’s actions on the international stage. 

Foriegn Affairs

The Economy and Trade

Trade relations between India and the US have been mostly co-operative throughout history. India is the US’ 9th largest trading partner with the trade in goods and services valued at $142 billion in 2019 alone. Popular product sectors include precious metals, chemical products, and mineral products. In total, they account for 42% of all traded goods. While the above-mentioned numbers may make it seem like trade relations have always been positive, that is far from the truth. Trade relations between the two nations have soured over the past 4 years under the Trump Administration. In 2018, The United States enforced multiple tariffs on steel and aluminium products after research showed that the nation was losing $21-$23 billion through trade with India. India responded with its own tariffs although they never got implemented. Then, in 2019, the US removed India from its General System of Preferences (GSP), a trade agreement for developing countries, significantly impacting the trade relationship between the two nations. This time, India went through with multiple tariffs, some of which are still in place.

Nonetheless, the Biden presidency will most likely change all of this. Firstly, Biden has always been against tariffs on India. This can be seen when the US had enforced sanctions on India after it became a nuclear power. Senator Joe Biden wrote a letter to then-President George W. Bush asking him to remove those sanctions with immediate effect. Furthermore, India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has told the media that India and the US will begin drafting a trade deal as soon as Biden assumes office. Consequently, the future looks bright for the Indian economy and its trade relations.

The Economy and Trade

In conclusion, President Joseph R. Biden looks to bring a brighter future for India and her interests. Through many of his pro-India policies and his vast political experience, it can be predicted that India and the US will become closer allies under the future President. After all, Joe Biden did defend India after President Trump called it “filthy” during the Presidential Debate by saying that that’s “not how you talk about friends”. Nonetheless, the future will always remain unpredictable, and so will Biden’s presidency!

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Written by Dhruv Srivastava

Dhruv is currently an IB high school student. He loves to write and talk about world history and global politics. With an interest in cricket and books, he loves the outdoors but doesn’t mind reading for hours on end. He is also a competitive speedcuber and a member of the World Cube Association (solves the 3x3 Rubik's Cube in less than 12 seconds). Dhruv lives in Mumbai, and loves travelling and learning more about the different people and cultures in the world.


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  1. Very well written Dhruv. Your analysis gives good clarity. Will wait for more such informative articles from you.
    Keep it up!

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