India-US relations have evolved and only grown irrespective of which party is in the office -Democrats or Republicans. As the Vice President during the Barack Obama administration, Joe Biden played a critical role in the US-South Asia strategy.
Beginning on a positive note, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the duo for their “spectacular” victory.
With a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris win in the US Presidential elections 2020, there could certainly be continuity in the Indo-US ties on various fronts.
Who is Kamala Harris?
Kamala Harris, 56, is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who both immigrated to the US to study.
She will be the first Asian-American, the first African-American, and the first female Vice-President-Elect of the US.
She will also be the highest-ranking female elected official in US history.
Joe Biden will bring two of his German Shepherds, Champ and Major to the White House. Major will be the first dog ever from an animal rescue shelter to live in the White House.
Jill Biden All Set to Become First-Ever FLOTUS to Have a Full-Time Job While Serving in Office
Let’s take a quick look at a few of the areas India is hoping to benefit:
COVID-19 has changed the world’s view of China. India, on its part, has been dealing with an intense situation with China due to a deepening border conflict. While Trump openly expressed his extreme displeasure for China at the risk of severing ties permanently, Biden may take a more diplomatic route but is likely to continue viewing India as a key ally in pushing back against China.
The H-1B visa issue
Trump’s stance on the H-1B visa issue has been a major dampener for Indians in recent years. During his tenure, Trump made the long-term work visa hard to get and even temporarily banned it.
Biden is committed to working on immigration reforms and keeping families together, which could ease hurdles for H-1B visa holders and aspirants. However, his support of a wage-based allocation process for H-1Bs may become a problem.
Despite Modi and Trump’s friendship, the latter has on various occasions termed Indian policies as “unfair.” But with the change in the government, there may be more favourable trade policies between the two.
Climate change agreement and Iran nuclear deal
Under Trump, the US exited the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. In his campaigns, Biden promised to reverse both these decisions. If the US takes a U-turn on Iran, it will give India access to cheaper oil. And if the US re-joining the Paris Agreement, climate change negotiations would happen at a commonplace and India stands to gain a lot in terms of leading the efforts.