POTUS vs Sushant Singh Rajput
My dilemma this morning is whether I should be concerned about the internal politics of the United States of America, as most of my colleagues and financial market participants appear to be! In the past 20yrs, we have seen George Bush Jr. (Republican, 8yrs), Barak Obama (Democrat, 8yrs) and Donald Trump (Republican, 4yrs) as presidents of the United States. In these 20years, India witnessed Atal Bihari Vajpayee (NDA, 3.5yrs), Manmohan Singh (UPA, 10yrs), and Narendra Modi (BJP, 6.5yrs) as India’s prime minister.
Evidently, a Socialist India (UPA) has lived well with Republican US (Bush); and a free economy supporter India (BJP) has lived well with Democrat (Obama) US. In past two decades, we have achieved progress in our civil nuclear program and we have been able to materially enhance our relationship with key US allies like Japan, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arab, and France; while maintain our strong relationship with Russia and Iran. The relationship with China has been volatile all through these years; though US has supported us in the rough patches of Sino-India relationship.
The issue of VISA, especially H1B VISA, has frequently made news in these past two decades. The volume and profitability from US business of our IT companies has grown manifold in these two decades, despite all this noise. The issue of FDA being particularly strict on Indian pharmaceutical exporters to US has also made to the headlines frequently. The US business of our pharmaceutical industry has also grown multifold in these two decades. The number of USFDA approved facilities in India has grown exponentially in past two decades.
Of course, we can debate that the trade could have been much higher; or we did not do as well as we could have due to VISA restrictions, FDA actions,
etc. But, then we will have to answer some tough questions like lack of ethics and discipline at some of our pharmaceutical manufacturers, protectionist policies of Indian government, misuse of H1B and L1 VISA by some of Indian IT services companies, etc. It is therefore better to go with the empirical evidence rather than dwelling upon some hypothetical outcomes. And the empirical evidence is that Indo-US trade and strategic relations have been widening and deepening consistently. George Bush had famously expressed his “respect” for Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and “Love” for Dr. Manmohan Singh. “Barak” visited India twice (most by any US president) and expressed his reverence to Gandhi, admiration for Prime Minister Modi and commitment to relationship with India. Trump has gone much ahead in showing bromance with Prime Minister Modi and expressing love for “Hindu”. Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his running mate and has promised favorable H1B regime for Indian IT companies. Regardless of who gets to live in White House for next four years, 2020 election may end up with highest number of Indian American elected as federal and state law makers.
I feel, worrying about the outcome of US elections may be out of habit of worrying too much. I believe, in broader context, the question “Trump” or “Biden” may not be any different from “Suicide” or “Murder” (of SSR).