Donald Trump
India, US relations could get a boost with Trump as US president. [Representative Image] In Picture: US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Wilmington, Ohio, US 4 November 2016.Reuters

Even as fear grips the Pakistani establishment over the uncertainty of its future relationship with the US following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US president, experts in India are predicting some kind of overhaul in the already robust Indo-US relations.

This view is buoyed by the fact that Trump has embraced the Indian community and was earlier enthused by PM Narendra Modi's election victory.

PM Modi spoke to Trump, the US president-elect, and congratulated him on the election victory. Modi also hoped that the two leaders will continue to build on the strong relations. He also said he "looked forward to working closely to take the India, US strategic partnership to a new height."

Trump has shown his willingness to be friends with the Indian community in US. "I am a big fan of Hindu and I am a big fan of India. If I am elected president, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House," Trump had said at an event organised by the Hindu Republican Coalition in October during the election campaigning, PTI reported.

The Paradigm Shift

The Hindu claimed the likelihood of Trump's presidency undergoing "paradigm shift" with increased defence purchases. It also predicted an increase in geopolitical moves.

Since 2000, defence trade between India and US has jumped from a mere $200 million to $15 billion. The US has upstaged Russia, India's traditional partner, in defence exports.

The current US government under President Obama was able to convince its Indian counterpart to sign a historic logistics agreement, which the US signs normally with close allies. Along with this, there are two more similar agreements, the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Information and Services Cooperation (BECA).

Uncertainity

Some experts are concerned over the uncertainty of his policies between the US and countries like Russia and Iran. India has a friendly relationship with both the countries.

"The ties that bind our two countries together are built on our shared democratic values, and go beyond the friendship of the American President and the Indian Prime Minister. They go beyond the economic and people-to-people ties. The U.S.-India relationship is vitally important, it is bipartisan, and it is only growing stronger," said Richard Verma, US ambassador to India in a statement. 

India-US relationship has progressed further than the mere buy-sell relationships, with both the countries now conducting advanced defence exercises Yudh Abhyas for the army, Malabar exercises for the Navy and Red Flag exercises for the Air Force.

Trump had campaigned more on the issue of economic growth rather than increasing US engagement across the world, unlike Obama's "Asia Pivot," which rebalances the Asia-Pacific region, owing to Chinese activity in the South China Sea.

The US has huge defence contracts in the pipeline for India, along with the possibility of Lockheed Martin shifting production line of F-16 fighters to India and Boeing too offering to transfer F/A 18 Super Hornet production line to India.

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