RPI Director Deepa Ollapally on President-Elect Trump: “Make in India and Make in America Destined to Collide”

RPI Director Deepa Ollapally on President-Elect Trump: “Make in India and Make in America Destined to Collide”


Dr. Deepa Ollapally, director of the Rising Powers Initiative and a research professor of international affairs at GWU, was quoted by the magazine India Abroad on how the U.S. election result will impact India:

“Trump’s shocking victory is hardly good news for India. Most obvious is Trump’s continuing battle cry against free trade and his promise to slap heavy penalties on American companies who set up shop overseas. This assault couldn’t come at a worse time for India. Prime Minister Modi’s much touted Make in India initiative is very dependent on foreign investment to kick start Indian manufacturing. It is key to generating an annual 10 million jobs that economists say India will need to match the needs of its mushrooming youth demographic.

If Trump has his way, Ford Motor Company that now has car manufacturing factories in Chennai, Pune, and Sanand, with plans of stepping up its exports, may find itself faced with stiff tariff barriers back in the American market. Modi’s Make in India and Trump’s Make in America agendas seem destined to collide.”

On other foreign policy matters, Dr. Ollapally argued: “India and the U.S. are probably not going to seS eye to eye on strategic policy in Asia either. Worried about China’s growing influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has been inching toward an unprecedented alignment, if not alliance, with Washington in the wake of the U.S. ‘pivot’ or rebalance. Trump’s, however, is no believer in this strategy crafted by Secretary Hillary Clinton and instead wants Asian allies and strategic partners to pay more and do more on defense and security while the U.S. takes on China more forcefully in economic relations.”

Finally, although Trump’s “promise to reduce taxes on corporate profits and capital gains might actually be helpful to the tech sector populated by many people of Indian origin,” Ollapally concluded: “As an Indian-American,, the most troubling part of Trum’s victory personally is the racist anti-immigration and anti-minority rhetoric that was part of his electioneering. Having riled up his supporters with racism and xenophobia and the idea that foreigners are stealing American jobs in places like India, China, and Mexico, I am worried this resentment might manifest itself in dangerous ways.”

“We will just have to wait and see what’s really in store for India from the new dispensation in Washington,” Ollapally declared.

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