There Is No Plan

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Obama In India. A Little More Finesse Please.

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Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the move of the century to ditch our wounded republic for a far flung developing nation that’s trying to put us away. And maybe the idea of going to India to jinny up jobs for America seems a bit of an “uhh?” to use a technical term, considering they’re outsource central, but this apparently dry-as-a-bone trade visit could have been made just a little more exciting with just a tad more thought.

India has long regarded the US as it’s natural trading (and not just outsourcing ally). After all, we speak the same language, well most of the people who we’d want to do business with anyway, and we’re both democracies, even if India has a far larger ‘demos’ to deal with.

Now of course, India would say all that wouldn’t they.  They want our business and they really hate the Chinese our go-to cheap labor source, with whom there’s been a simmering cold war for a very long time.

But even with their self-serving instincts aside, India maybe they have a point. Because China really is a pure economic adversary, and an increased trading alliance with India would definitely help to push that point home. In short, if we want to show China who’s boss, and we really should, cuddling up with New Delhi wouldn’t be a bad way to go. It might make the Chinese just a little more honest when it comes to their currency manipulation, and their foot-dragging on doing the dirty work of building a consumer economy to rebalance world trade. Perhaps they’d even stop choking the plane with their one-a-week diet of new coal fired power plants. At the same time, they could hardly accuse us of attacking ‘them’ directly, and instead would be forced to respond to our overtures for a stronger trading partnership with India, by making things easier for US companies in China. Of course, we could start to leverage that triangulation by demanding better working practices from the Indians and Chinese as well as a better deal for US goods in both countries, and other diplomatic goodies too. We are still a superpower, you know.

One of the reasons we’re skittish about building up India is because of its neighbor Pakistan. We’re worried that Pakistan might be less forthright about battling the local Taliban. But we needn’t worry. Their attempts to put the kibosh on militants have not been stellar and they need money. Who trades with Pakistan?  For Washington, better trading relations between Islamabad and New Delhi should of course be part of the deal. After all, there’s nothing like a healthily profitable partnership to soothe a nuclear standoff. And more bilateral trade between the two sub-continental rivals could also boost Pakistan’s economy too, with the possible pleasing side-effects of making people a little richer, a little happier, and perhaps a little less likely to support the militants.

Perhaps all this is going on in the background during the President’s trip to India.

But I sincerely doubt it.


Written by coolrebel

November 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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