After the end of US elections , there is a sense of uncertainty about how will Biden react to the current foreign policies . Various countries like India, China , Russia, Israel , Iran , Venezuela are few countries that will be the most affected ones and among them Iran and Venezuela the most after the end of Trump’s presidency , some are positive of it and some sceptical of it. There is still few days left of Trump’s presidency and the whole world is observing it attentively.
In this section I have tried to put some information regarding present situation and changes that might happen .
Israel , a country in middle East , made specifically for Jewish community , often criticized for Israel Palestinian issue. Donald Trump , the most pro Israel US President ever , has always been in favour of Israel in his entire tenure.
1. Be it Trump’s Peace plan that was even called as Peace to prosperity or Deal of Century . It was formal proposal from Trump to bring peace in the region but it’s clauses never draw the attention of Palestinians not even for a second. They straight forward declined it.
2. Abraham Accord , signed on 13th of August 2020. It’s a joint statement by UAE Israel and USA . It’s the agreement between UAE and Israel for normalisation of relations between an Arab country and Israel. It includes treaty of peace and maintaining formal Diplomatic relations between them. Many Arab countries followed this , but UAE isn’t the first Arab country to recognise Israel. Egypt in 1979 , Jordan in 1994 . Few more countries like Bahrain , Sudan and Morocco have also agreed to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
It’s a trend democrat President has never been this much close to Israel , so before the end of tenure Trump can give Israel some more gifts like this .
Venezuela , quite surprising name for many of the readers but it’s one of the most negatively affected country due to Donald Trump and the reason for that is its President Nicolas Maduro . Maduro came to office of President in 2013 and his chair became disputed in the year 2019. He is often criticized for manipulating elections in Venezuela . Some of its recent developments are..
1. Venezuela being largest oil producing country in the world , it’s economy is completely dependent on it. Trump announced to automatic application of sanctions if any country is buying oil from Venezuela. It hurt Venezuelan economy . Due to sanctions India was also unable to trade in crude oil with Venezuela. Venezuelan oil is not of the best quality that’s why it’s cheaper than that of other oil producing countries. But you need heavy investment in refinery to purify Venezuelan oil and India was capable of that. ONGC also has partnership with many oil extracting companies in Venezuela and helps them to extract crude oil. Sanctions also hit hard ONGC’s investments there . But after confirmation of US election results , India formally asked for permission to buy Venezuelan and Iranian crude oil.
2. Trump also wanted to change the regime of Nicolas Maduro , even his intention were towards establishing Pro American government via Coup . In recent Venezuelan elections Nicolas Maduro was re-elected as it’s President but all the other opposition parties backed off the elections stating it’s rigged similar to the stance of US.
Its expected that when Biden will come to power he will be softer towards Venezuela. And it will be beneficial for both Venezuelan and Indian economy. But the main reason of this hatred is due to competition of two oil producing countries in the region. For your surprise US also has huge oil reserves and it doesn’t want any competitor nearby as Venezuela is country with largest crude oil reserves world wide .
Iran , discussion of Trump tenure without mentioning Iran won’t be over. But I first of all make you all clear that , the way Iran handled US during this time and handling now worth praise . Iran is not giving any chance to downgrade their relations at worst of condition. They are confident of better condition during Biden Presidency. The major issues on which both of them are dissenting are…
1. Iran Nuclear Deal , signed during Obama period then Joe Biden was Vice President of America . Also known as JCPOA ( Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed by P5 + 1 (Iran) at Vienna in 2015 . It supported Iran’s nuclear program for its positive use. But when Donald Trump came to power he straight forward rejected it stating Iran will enrich Uranium up to weapon grade use. And he adopted the policy of complete coercion on Iran. It lead to downgrade of Iranian currency as they were not allowed to trade with other countries in US dollars.
2. With this policy came sanctions on countries buying crude oil from Iran. This lead India , then the biggest buyer of Iranian oil , to completely stop buying crude oil from Iran.
3. This lead Iran to come closer to China and China announced to invest 400 Bn Dollars in Iranian economy. Comparing it to Chinese investment in Pakistan via CPEC ( China Pakistan Economic Corridor) of only 70 Bn Dollars.
4. Chabahar port investment of India was also in danger but India was given special privilege here and in written US announced Indian investment in Iran will not be considered for sanctions which was great victory for India and Iran both. And also India’s soft power was increased within Iranian citizens.
5. Recently Iranian Nuclear Scientist , Mohsen Fakhrizadeh , was assassinated and fingers were raised on Mossad (Israeli Intelligence Agency) and American Intelligence Agency. Here I will add some of my personal views . The way he was killed it shows US wanted Iran to retaliate but Iran showed some maturity and chose to wait for the end of Trump’s tenure. Biden’s earlier statements on Iran nuclear deal clearly shows he will reinstate the deal. In this decade from 2010 -12 many Iranian scientists were killed and this was the most recent.
The main fear of America with Nuclear power Iran was always due to its location. These countries are very prone to change of regime via military coup or militancy coup. If nuclear weapons reach to those hands it can be dangerous for whole world.
Russia , often considered biggest enemy of USA , but Trump and Putin coordination worked out very well. We all know the past rivalry of US and USSR but after disintegration of USSR alone Russia was not that much powerful to fight American aggression be it economic sanctions from US , European Union etc. Russian economy was hit hard. Some points that should be mentioned …..
1. Russian is one the largest source of mineral resources i.e. Crude oil , Natural Gas , various important elements like Uranium etc. But being a large landmass their economy doesn’t allow them to extract those resources. Russian economy survives on Arms selling , defence related instruments , fighter plains , crude oil etc. But sanctions have always let them down . One of the major sanction from US is via CAATSA, (Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act) . It invites grade 1 sanctions on Russia for selling arms and for buyers grade 2 sanctions . According to act US President can apply 4 or 5 sanctions out of many grade 2 sanctions which includes all heavy and light ones. It depends on President and the country which is buying it. Recently China bought S 400 Air Defence System which destroys all flying objects caught in its radar within 400km of range . CAATSA was applied but sanctions opted by Trump was not hard .
2. Trump tried to include Russia in his plans for the expansion of G7 group , he also included India , Australia, South Korea making it G11 . It was almost confirmed but none of the G7 European countries agreed upon inclusion of Russia into it . This proposal was also criticised by Russia after EU dismissal of proposal , that it was the move to contain China . By the way there was no objection from those countries for inclusion of India , Australia and South Korea.
Trump was even considered Pro Russian President ever , but he could never show it openly . And every American move against Russia brought Russia closer to China . Because it needed support for its economy. Biden in his recent speeches said China isn’t US 1st enemy but Russia is. It shows he might behave harder towards Russia instead of China. But it’s better to wait and watch what American interest suits best.
China , economically 2nd after American in total GDP. Now China have reached almost 15 Trillion Dollar economy and still growing at fast pace . America being 1st at 21 Trillion Dollar economy but isn’t growing with that speed. Indian economy is about 3 Trillion Dollars . This shows how much stronger China has become. Trump’s policies was always intended towards containing China . Some of them are..
1. China is the 2nd most powerful country after America now , recently both of them have engaged themselves in trade war/ tariff war . US faces huge deficit of almost 400 Bn Dollars . Via trade war they wanted to make sure China doesn’t uses foul methods to make US more dependent on China . As of now US is not the major manufacturing hub. It’s more of service kind of economy.
2. Quad grouping with India , Japan and Australia , US tried to contain China in Indo-Pacific region. There is also a debate what name should be given either Indo-Pacific due to Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean , or Asia-Pacific . China promotes the later one as stating Indo-Pacific name doesn’t includes who Asia hence ignores China.
3. Freedom of Movement for trade had become an important factor of dissent. China always claimed whole South China sea as it’s territory . Hence for few time US deployed it’s Aircraft carriers in the region to maintain the order according to UNCLOS ( United Nations Convention of the Laws of the Sea).
There are many issues on which both seems to have dissenting views ,it can never be mentioned in few words. But Chinese government expect Biden to be more liberal towards them. Biden always stood against the trade war. Chinese disliked Trump for his unpredictable behaviour in that case even if Biden doesn’t show softness towards China predictability is the thing that Chinese get in their favour but what actually happens is still to arrive to us.
India , in this blog I have mentioned India many a times. In the globalised world action in one corner affects the results of another corner. Similarly , as US is the global power and recently have been very close ally with India . We share various fundamental level pacts with US like LEMOA , COMCASA etc. during Trump tenure it was the best ever period of India US relations .
1. But India had to face some problems , like sanctions made us not to buy oils from Venezuela and Iran . We also have our huge investment in these countries which was hit hard.
2. We purchased S 400 air defence system from Russia and US never gave India clearance from sanctions on this purchase. Delivery of this system is still few years away but the threat of sanctions on this multi billion dollars deal. But the purchase is done , the manufacturing has started , if we get immunization from sanctions similar to that we got in Chabahar port issue , it will be great victory for us.
3. In recent statement our foreign affairs Minister , S Jaishankar , said Trump blocked India-US trade deal. India was dead serious about signing the trade agreement as we enjoy trade surplus with US. But some of India’s demands were neglected like GSP ( Generalised System of Preference) it benefitted us below the trade of 6Bn dollar and our traders were used to of this system. But Trump was the person to oust India from GSP list .
4. Under Trump’s Presidency USTR (United States Trade Regime) removed India from the list of developing countries which barred us from taking many benefits in trade as a developing nation.
5. But not everything that US done economically was wrong for India , American trade war with China gave India opportunity to attract many MNCs to shift their manufacturing centre from China , hence many companies like Samsung , Apple etc. chose India for this.
So in this blog I have tried to summarise the Trump’s tenure and relations with many countries and what changes will might be possible. Future cannot be predicted in any sense . It comes with so many possibilities just we can do is to hope for best. Again I will say a single blog is never enough to mention whole ocean of foreign relations , everyday there comes new possibilities and changes . At many points I have put my own opinions also so that a new to this can also understand these links . Hope you liked the blog. Pardon if any of the information provided by me was wrong. Comment your views . Suggestions and corrections always whole heartedly welcomed .
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