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4.30 pm, Nov 2 Nov 02, 2012

Why Barack Obama, as US President, is good for India.

Why Barack Obama, as US President, is good for India. Gautam Adhikari will take your questions on the issue.
8 questions answered
  • What would be the impact on IT services and mainly for all services which are offshored to India? Asked by: Prasad
  • Gautam Adhikari I don't think IT services, or commercial services in general, are much affected by who is in the White House. It all depends on the state of the world economy and, of course, the US economy. So,with the US economy improving steadily, trade activity is improving. How that will affect India also depends on how India manages to keep up with trends and can stay ahead of rival countries in IT services and off-shoring.
  • Barack Obama does not have a pro India tilt which is evident.Dont you feel that Romney will be better for India just as George Bush was? Asked by: kaushik bhowal
  • Gautam Adhikari When he first came into office in 2008, Barack Obama's administration was somewhat inclined to lean towards developing better relations with China in the Asian context. That has since changed. There is close cooperation between India and the US now in fighting terrorism, sharing intelligence and military exercises which will coninue no matter who is president. There is some disappointment in the US that the civilian nuclear deal did not lead to gains for US companies because of Indian legislation on lialbility. There was also disappointment that the US did not get the fighter deal for the Indian Air Force. But at the moment the relationship is on an even keel while intense activity goes on behind the scenes in the fields of intelligence sharing and fighting terrorism in the region. Romney's foreign policy, like much of his positions on various matters, is still a mystery.
  • I think that Barack Obama is more tough on terrorism and that's good for India in context of the Taliban uprising in Afghanistan.Am i right,sir? Asked by: Somil Pahuja
  • Gautam Adhikari Obama has been quite determined, even ruthless, in going after terrorists. Not only did he manage to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, his administration has significantly stepped up drone warfare against suspected terrorist and Taliban hideouts. That is good from India's point of view. But we'll have to wait and see what happens after 2014 when the main contingent of US troops will have left Afghanistan. The Obama administration insists they have plans in place to prevent a Taliban take-over in Afghanistan but how Pakistan's ISI and army will react in the post-withdrawal situation is not known. The current effort seems to be to destroy as much of the Taliban's capacity as possible before the US troops depart leaving behind an Afghan security force (hopefully fully trained) of 350,000 and a contingent of US advisory forces. Plus, there will probably be naval ships and drones stationed close by after 2014.
  • Hi Gautam, Why do you think Obama will be better for the country. Asked by: Arvind Kaushik
  • Gautam Adhikari Obama has been quite good so far, so I assume a second Obama administration will continue to develop the India relationship. Under Bush, there was the nuclear deal, so we tend to judge the improvement in relationship by that major happening. But quiet work continues today between New Delhi and Washington to build a strong relationship, which is not yet a true partnership. India's future relationships abroad depend a lot on performance at home. If we can recover high rates of economic growth, reposition our image across the world as one the significant players of the future and sharply improve internal governance, then India will be sought after by many world powers. Since the US will remain the key player in global affairs in the foreseeable future, it will depend on the willingness of our political class to strengthen the Indo-US relationship steadily to a point of active partnership in world affairs.
  • It appears strange to an Indian here as to why Indian Americans tilt towards the Republicans. What do you think is the reason. There are practically no Indian American Dem. lawmakers where as Jindal and Haley are household names Asked by: Abid
  • Gautam Adhikari In fact, a majority of Indian-Americans are for the Democrats, surveys have shown. That's how they vote in national elections, it has been shown. Yes, the Republicans have Jindal and Haley but there are state and local level lawmakers who are of Indian origin and are Democrats. Plus the Obama administration, has many Indian origin professionals working in the White House and State department. Very rich Indians, and there are quite a few, might lean Republican for tax purposes but many Silicon Valley types tend to be Democrats.
  • President Obama is absolutely against Outsourcing (at least politically). We as a country, major portion of our exports come from outsourcing. Why do you then feel he is good for India? Asked by: Harsh Saraogi
  • Gautam Adhikari As I said in reply to an earlier question, I don't think there will be any significant change in the India-US relationship no matter who occupies the White House. The relationship depends on several factors, not just outsourcing. True, Obama in campaign speeches has been talking against off-shoring of jobs but I don't think he will do all that much differently on this score in a second term than he has in his first. He might change tax laws to make US companies pay more taxes on their foreign profits but if the US economy continues to improve there'll be such an economic boom once again within a couple of years that worries over outsourcing will decline. Specifically with India, trade volume has been bounding forward and outsourcing is a small part of that expansion. Indian companies, like the Tatas, also are investing in the US and employing thousands.
  • External affairs wise, one understands, that Bush was better for India. I would stand corrected If I am wrong. What are your views, would Obama IInd term be better for us Asked by: Narayan
  • Gautam Adhikari The US-India relationship began to improve from the second half of President Clinton's second term, starting with Clinton's five-day visit to India in 2000. Then the Bush administration took it a step farther by by making the civilian nuclear deal possible. However, much of this began to happen because of India's changing image in the world, mainly because of its fast-growing economy and the expanding and impressive influence of Indian-Americans in the US. if India can recapture that economic momentum, which it seems to have lost temporarily, the US-India relationship is bound to strengthen. The Obama administration continues to value the India relationship, as I think a Romney administration will as well, and either way the US-India relationship will carry on improving provided we don't mess things up at home and can manage to sharply improve our global image.
  • Dear Gautam, a) As i understand there is still,lot of unhappiness over the economy, like credit stifling, Unemployment, housing price stagnant etc b) Considering this he would restrict offshoring and try to create more internal employment etc Would this help India Asked by: Narayan
  • Gautam Adhikari The US economy continues to improve. Unemployment has begun to decline slowly though it could have been faster if the Republican-controlled Congress and Democratic Obama White House had jointly worked out solutions which were on the table. Consumer confidence is growing fast, so is spending. The auto industry has recovered and doing well. The stock market has doubled in value from where it was around the time Obama took office, which means mutual funds -- where people park their retirement savings -- are doing better now. This economy will generate millions of jobs over the next couple of years no matter who is in the White House, unless something external -- like a European economic collapse -- reverses the momentum. So, internal employment will grow enough over the next year or two to reduce the hostility towards off-shoring.

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Gautam Adhikari
Senior journalist and analyst