Foreign policy changes in Joe Biden’s administration

Context: Expected foreign policy changes that Joe Biden will bring to India-U.S. relations if he wins the presidential elections.

What are the changes expected?

On Afghan policy:

  • In September 2009, Joseph Biden who was the then vice president of Obama’s administration was tasked with building an alternative plan to Afghanistan, to present to U.S. Generals who were pushing for influx of up to 400,000 troops to win the war in Afghanistan.
  • Biden suggested that, the U.S. need not send more troops, instead it needed to pull out, and focus on a five-point agenda for what he called “Counter-terrorism Plus”.

On Relation with Pakistan:

  • Biden will favour a policy of engagement with Pakistan in order to deal with the Taliban.
  • Also, Biden Pakistan relation is expected to be in good will as Pakistan has accorded him with one of its highest civilian honours, the Hilal-e-Pakistan.

On U.S. policy with India:

  • Biden and Mr. Trump foreign policy may not differ as much. For example, both favoured exiting troops from the Afghan base. For India, this would mean the continuity over the U.S. policy with India, during Biden’s tenure.
  • It is also likely that Mr. Biden will build on the military foundational agreements with India, strengthen military cooperation and push the sale of U.S. military hardware

On Indo Pacific:

  • Though Mr. Trump owned the Indo-Pacific policy, the policy owes its origins to the Obama-Biden administration that first focused on “Asia-Pacific” in order to build a coalition to counter Chinese inroads in the region.

On India – US Trade:

  • Its more unlikely that Biden will try to restore India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for exporters, but he might push for signing up a mini-trade deal with India which has been in talks for long.

On visas to Indians:

  • Biden understands the value of Indian immigrants to the U.S., and the importance of India’s outsourcing industry to the U.S. He has already assured Indian-Americans in this front.

On Civil rights and democracy:

  • It will be one of the frictional areas in India- US relation given India’s pending review by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
  • Also, his co-associates have been particularly vocal in several issues against Indian administration. For example, Jammu-Kashmir issue, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, communal and caste-based violence, actions against non-governmental organisations and media freedoms.

Read Also :-India – US Future Cooperation Relations 

Mr. Biden’s foreign policy owes much significance considering Mr. Trump’s pull-out from the multilateral world order, including the World Health Organisation, UNESCO, Human Rights Council, agreements such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accord. He is also expected to take concrete measures to strengthen the rules-based international order

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