Why Experts Say a Donald Trump Presidency Could Benefit India – India Real Time – WSJ

A Donald Trump presidency could help India, according to a panel of India’s top strategic thinkers.

The businessman and television personality, known for his pledge to shake up the global status quo and “make America great again,” could help Indian business by squashing free-trade deals that disadvantage the South Asian nation and while also opening up a larger role for India’s military, speakers at a Brookings India event in Delhi said Monday.

Mr. Trump’s plan to make Asian allies pick up more of the slack for defense spending in the region would “open up a huge amount of space for India” in global affairs, said C. Raja Mohan, director of Carnegie India.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership would also be a bonus for India, which never signed the deal, said Brookings India’s Harsh V. Singh. Mr. Trump says such deals disadvantage U.S. workers. Many Indian companies “would breathe a sigh of relief” if the trade deal, which favors signatories like Vietnam and Malaysia over India, was squashed, Mr. Singh said.

Mr. Trump has already sent jitters through the Asian security community by saying: “Many countries are not paying their fair share,” for U.S. military protection. By contrast his opponent Hillary Clinton, is seen as someone who would most likely leave relationships unchanged with major allies.

For India, which has no U.S. military bases on its soil, the prospect of life with a diminished American presence in east Asia and the Middle East would mean a sharpening of divisions in the region, but also allow it to expand its influence and invent a new global role for itself, said Mr. Mohan.

The changes could be as large as those that accompanied the withdrawal of the British military from the region post World War II, a shift that saw the birth of modern India in 1947, he said.

Still, if Mr. Trump wins office, he will likely withdraw U.S. support and investment for Indian renewable energy, the Hindustan Times’ Foreign Editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri said. Protectionist policies could be “a disaster” for the global economy, triggering a spate of trade wars, Mr. Chaudhuri said.

Source: Why Experts Say a Donald Trump Presidency Could Benefit India – India Real Time – WSJ


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