Bernie Sanders seems to be a beacon of hope for the average Indian with his socialist approach, but it might turn the tables for India if he is voted as POTUS to the White House.
The Democrats have 99 problems and Bernie Sanders is at the centre of it. President Donald Trump’s highly effective State of the Union Address followed by a bipartisan impeachment acquittal has turned the tables on the Democrat top brass’ gala plan to outdo the Republicans in 2020.
The Iowa Caucus firmly put Bernie Sanders, along with the surprise leader Pete Buttigieg at the forefront of the race for the Democrat primary. While Buttigieg may have emerged at the top of the table unexpected, Bernie has fared the best among the seasoned three, that includes Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Bernie Sanders looks the likely candidate to finally get the backing in his third attempt at being the Democrat primary.
So, with Bernie looking the likely candidate to finally get the backing in his third attempt at the presidency, it makes sense to ponder how his election to the White House will change the scheme of things. Here we look at how Bernie Sanders as the POTUS would impact Asians in the US as well as the relationship with the Indian subcontinent.
On Immigration Policies
Apart from Native Americans, all are immigrants in the US. Some came due to necessity, some by choice, and some by force and in chains. The US President Donald Trump, who emerged as a xenophobe and demagogue leader through his rhetoric speeches, has divided the country by demonizing immigrants for societal problems. The Trump administration inhumanely treats immigrants as criminals.
However, Bernie Sanders, whose family was an immigrant too, supports a family-based immigration system supporting civil and human rights. He, as President, will work with Congress to impose limitations on the POTUS’s power to restrict or suspend the entry of particular class (like Muslims) into the US by introducing the NO BAN Act (National Origin Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants).
Furthermore, Bernie also supports DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent) and intends to expand and implement it to its core. These programs will provide security and stabilities to the undocumented immigrants who lived and worked in America for more than 5 years. There will be no deportation and Sanders’ main focus is to decriminalize immigration.
Bernie Sanders, with Kamala Harris and Julian Castro, have publicly announced that if Democrats come to power, in the first 100 days in office, they would form legislation to provide citizenship to 11 million unauthorized immigrants staying in the US. These unauthorized immigrants are vulnerable to abuses by employers because of the risk of deportation if they retaliate. In short, Sanders is focused on providing citizenship rights to immigrant labour.
In the first 100 days in office, Sanders has vowed to form legislation to provide citizenship to 11 million unauthorized immigrants staying in the US.
However, it is interesting to know that According to a Pew Research Center estimates, in 2017, around 5,25,000 individuals are unauthorized Indian immigrants. So it is like oxygen for them. Moreover, Bernie Sanders as POTUS will also ensure citizenship’s path to be broad, inclusive and minimal financial burdens, hence benefitting Indians in the US. He also intends to establish a way forward for legal permanent status and citizenship within 5 years.
Medicare and Education for All
Bernie Sanders is supporting and strengthening immigrants in the US. It is not only by providing citizenship to these people but world-class health facilities too. In one of his statements, he ensured that all the rights and benefits that Americans enjoy being citizens will also be extended to everyone regardless of where they have come from.
He will also ensure that immigrant parents and their children do not face harassment and unnecessary surveillance at schools, regardless of the immigration status. Sanders has also promised to ensure college for all. Herein, his government will make tuition and debt-free public colleges and universities to all.
Sanders will enact Medicare for all, which will be accessible to everyone in America, regardless of their immigration status.
On Trade Deals
If elected POTUS, Bernie Sanders’ trade policies might not be favouring India. His socialist ideas may help and work for American workers but not for developing countries. He repeatedly accuses American corporate of throwing American workers out of jobs and later outsourcing for the same work. This outsourcing helps American corporate earn more profit due to cheaper labour in other countries.
Bernie Sanders is determined not to rejoin Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if voted to power. He rejects unfettered free trade agreements like TPP, NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR and others. Due to these agreements, American workers are forced to compete with low wage workers across the globe.
The result was catastrophic with massive job losses and also shutting down of industries, thereby impeding the US economy. However, many companies outsourced works from other countries having cheap labours.
Impact on India’s Trade with the US
So, India is considered to be the biggest outsourcing provider across the globe. According to the US outsourcing stats, in 2017, 84.2% of India’s outsourcing deals originated in the US. Sanders coming to power would be baneful for Indian citizens.
In 2017, 84.2% of India’s outsourcing deals originated in the US.
Despite Trump’s America first attitude, the US currently has a trade deficit in goods amounting to $890 billion. Subsequently, multinational corporates have shipped more than 1,85,000 American jobs overseas. The US goods trade deficit with India till November 2019 was over US $22 billion.
Buy American, and Buy Local
He also wants to expand “Buy American and Buy Local” to boost American manufacturing sector. This will definitely provide employment opportunities in America and trade deficit could go down. However, it may altogether hamper the trade surplus that India enjoys with Bernie Sanders as POTUS.
Sanders’ ‘Buy American and Buy Local’ approach might altogether hamper the trade surplus that India enjoys.
Bernie is also strongly emphasizing on specifying core text for all trade agreements. That would include strong and binding labour, environmental, and human rights standards. It also means that the standards of goods and services to be on par with the US. This could go against cheap-mediocre quality goods trade from India.