Count on simpler immigration and commerce concessions

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 8

The new Joe Biden administration is expected to restore the balance in India-US ties that had got heavily skewed to the security side during the last four years of the Trump administration. When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Indonesia last month, he announced the restoration of its duty-free exports to the US under the General System of Preferences (GSP). Simultaneously, India lost the duty-free GSP access on its exports to the US. The focus on Asia Pacific is likely to stay. Biden was a key participant in Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” which also had the same security-related goals – retain US superiority in the maritime domain with India as a new ally. But there was a matching accent on economics. The architecture of Trans-Pacific Partnership — to create China-free supply chains — was beginning to take shape when the Trump administration junked it.

Narendra Modi, PM

As V-P, your (Biden’s) contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical. I look forward to working closely once again to take the ties to greater heights.

Biden’s plans to increase visas may not take shape immediately but will be a major improvement over the near-total clampdown by Trump. There is no doubt though that eventually Biden will ease the visa norms, including H-1B. But with Kamala Harris as Vice-President, Biden is expected to keep up the pressure on human rights — from CAA and NRC to Kashmir.

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