The same game with different dimensions
Updated at Friday, 21 Jun 2019, 08:52
The Hanoitimes - The dimension in the case of India is not comparable to that in the case of China, but it is the same game the US is now playing with China and India.
While being already mired in a deepening trade conflict with China, the US now seems to be on the path to the same dispute with India - the world's second most populous nation after China.
Earlier this month, the US suspended India from its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) applied from 1976 giving US market access to less developed countries with India as the biggest beneficiary.
The US is increasing trade pressure on India
India's hit back with tariff hikes on 28 specified US imports to India.
The US and India maintained traditionally good relationships. US President Donald Trump praised the US - India relations as "never been stronger" when hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time since the former’s inauguration at the White House in 2017. However, the US often complained about what it sees as unfair protectionist measures by the Indian government such as high tariffs and other trade barriers having caused trade deficit for the US. The US demanded that India should take proper political and institutional measures to grant US companies equal access to the Indian market. All the same arguments the US is using to explain its present conflict with China. In fact, between the US and China there is not only the trade conflict but also the strategic competition on all fields of their bilateral relations.
With India now, the US seems to want to play the same game. Reducing trade deficit with India is only one of many goals the US wants to reach with it. The US wants to increase its pressure on India so that the subcontinent country would be forced to change its economic and trade policies. For example and first of all, the US demanded India to withdraw regulatory clampdown on US e-commerce giants like Amazon or Flipkart (now owned by Walmart) and not to hire Chinese tech giant Huawei to build the country's 5G network.
The US also wanted India not to buy oil from Iran, which undergoes trade sanctions by the US as well as not to proceed with plans to purchase Russian anti-aircraft missiles.
To both China and India, the US has been using trade conflicts to pursue other strategic aims in its relations with these two countries. It is the strategic and long-term race to the places on the top of the world in the near future.
The dimension in the case of India is not comparable to that in the case of China, but it is the same game the US is now playing with China and India.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau