The relatively affluent Indian diaspora in the United States could be a great target market for Donald Trump to garner political donations for the upcoming presidential polls, according to foreign policy expert Richard Rossow.
“In terms of political potential political donations Indian American diaspora could be a great target market for Donald Trump, it would not be a prime market but a good secondary one,” Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) told ANI ahead of Trump’s arrival in India.
“The Indian diaspora here in the United States is a growing community with almost 4 million of them now relatively affluent,” he added.
On the growing defence ties between the two countries, he said, “Well, 20 years ago the United States had zero defence sales to India, and now we are at USD 17 billion.”
“It is also important to the US because it is trying to counter India’s purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia. How do we (US) make the case that we should not sanction India on Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CATSA),” he added.
Commenting on the possible outcome of Trump’s visit, he said: “I know that we’re all hoping that there would be this mini trade deal to remove some of the recent trade impediments that look like it’s not going to happen. But you should see some substitute to trade deals where India is going to announce new buys from the United States in defence and energy sector.”
“I think the two governments are coming closer together in terms of how they look at some of the rising threats in Asia and the security front, and that’s going to trigger deeper defence collaboration,” he added.
Tensions on the trade front between the two countries had emerged in June last year, after Trump revoked preferential trade privileges, in response to which India imposed tariffs on 28 US products, including almonds and apples.
However, it should be noted that despite several meetings between the two sides in both India and the US trade negotiators of the two countries are yet to finalise on a deal even after 18 months.
“I know that we’re all hoping that there would be this mini trade deal to remove some of the recent trade impediments that looks like it’s not going to happen. But you should see some sub to trade deals where India is going to announce new buys from the United States in defense and potentially energy,” Rossow said.
This is also one of US President’s rare stand alone visits.
“I think for India which all of a sudden is starting to fear that the United States and Pakistan have started to move a little bit closer together. Going to India and not going to Pakistan is going to be a huge checkmark I think in the Indian government’s box…” Rossow said.
Trump along with First Lady Melania Trump is set to arrive in Ahmedabad today on a two-day visit to India.
The US President, along with his family and a ministerial delegation, will be in India for around 36 hours. They will visit Ahmedabad, Agra, and Delhi during their stay.
This is Trump’s first official visit to India.