By now it is clear that both Donald Trump’s rise to the White House as well as his exit were products of the electorate’s reactionary responses. In 2016, the Republican voters chose him to thumb their noses at the career politicians such as Hillary Clinton as well as a recoil from Barack Obama’s presidency. In 2020, the Democrats outvoted the Republicans primarily to get rid of Trump.
Trump and his supporters, however, have alleged foul play. Their essential grouse is perhaps best captured in Tom Stoppard’s (a British writer) words: “It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting”.
It is another matter that in Trump’s case, it might be more appropriate to quote what Thucydides wrote as long back as 431 BC: “In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.”
Anyway, in choosing Biden over Trump, the American voters have most likely changed the course of the global economy. This is why everyone has been so keenly following the twists and turns of the presidential elections in the US.
Apart from the likely reduced uncertainties in global trade, what may be of immense importance is the fact that Biden understands the need to control the Covid pandemic before any sustainable economic recovery can take place — either in the US or elsewhere.
Biden’s approach — in stark contrast to Trump’s — could have a salutary impact on how the US leads the rest out of this tricky phase for the world economy when so many countries are witnessing a strong surge in Covid infections.
So, what might be the impact on the Indian economy, presuming, of course, that Biden manages to seamlessly transition from President-Elect to the 46th President of the US in January 2021?
There are several ways in which the US economy, its health and the policy choices of its government affect India.
For one, the US is one of those rare big countries with which India enjoys a trade surplus. In other words, we export more goods to the US than what we import from it.