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Current Affairs

Biden administration and India

Date: 08 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Democrat candidate Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 US presidential election, defeating Donald Trump, according to news agency The Associated Press.

 

Details

  • Much before he became Vice President in the Barack Obama administration, Biden had advocated a stronger relationship with India.

  • Biden played an important role, both as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as Vice President, in systematically deepening strategic engagement with India.

  • Although (then) Senator Obama was initially hesitant to support the Indo-US nuclear deal, Biden led the charge and worked with both Democrats and Republicans, to approve the nuclear deal in the US Congress in 2008.

  • Biden was one of the key advocates of strengthening the Indo-US partnership, especially in strategic areas. During that time, the US officially declared its support for India’s membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council. 

  • The Obama-Biden Administration also named India a “Major Defence Partner”, which made it easier to share advanced and critical technology to India to strengthen defence ties.

  • This was crucial since it was for the first time that any country was given this status, outside of the US’s traditional alliance system.

  • In August 2016, the two sides signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), the first of the three “foundational pacts” for deeper military cooperation.

  • As Democrats are seen to be more liberal on immigration, Biden is expected to be softer towards Indians who go to the US to study, work and live there, and aspire for a better life.

  • He has promised to support family-based immigration, increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration, reform the temporary visa system for high-skill, specialty jobs and eliminate the limits on employment-based green cards. He has also promised to restore the naturalisation process for green card holders.

  • Over the last 20 years, every US President had differences on many issues, but if there was one common theme on which all of them agreed was this: a stronger relationship with India.

 

LEMOA

  • LEMOA allows the militaries of the US and India to replenish from each other’s bases, and access supplies, spare parts and services from each other’s land facilities, air bases, and ports, which can then be reimbursed.

  • LEMOA is extremely useful for India-US Navy-to-Navy cooperation, since the two countries are cooperating closely in the Indo-Pacific.