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Several Indian-Americans may be part of the new Trump Administration

Two days before the Americans went to polls, Donald Trump’s son Eric participated in a traditional ‘aarti’ at a Hindu temple in Florida to woo Indian-Americans as the Republican presidential nominee’s family leaves no stone unturned to ensure his victory in the election. Eric, 32, arrived at the temple in Orlando in a suit but changed his clothes and wore a cream-coloured Sherwani to attend the ‘aarti’.

He took a tour of the temple where the priest explained to him the significance of aarti and other rituals. He was also told the tales of God Rama and Krishna. The priest presented him with a saffron stole.

The crucial swing state of Florida has a wealthy and growing Hindu population which could play a significant role in the election.

Earlier Donald Trump, in his efforts to woo the Indian community, borrowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s winning slogan of the 2014 general elections and was seen in a TV ad saying “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar”.

This is the first time that a US presidential candidate has specifically targeted the Indian-American vote bank.

Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump celebrated Diwali at a Hindu temple in the key swing state of Virginia as part of the Republican presidential nominee’s efforts to reach out to the Indian-American community.

It worked and many Indian-Americans voted for the Republican.

Now, after the election, the Indian-Americans have expressed their delight on the election of Republican candidate Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. “Satisfied and happy that outcome of all the efforts was good,” said Shalab Kumar, Indian-American industrialist.

Talking about the relationship between India and the United States post Trump’s victory, Kumar said the first effort should be to remove trade barriers so that both nations benefit.

Former Miss India Manasvi Mamgai, who campaigned for Trump, said: “Happy that our efforts have finally paid off, we cannot be happier.’

Trump’s surprising performance at the polls ended Hillary Clinton’s quest to make history as the first female president of the United States.

A large number of Indian-Americans supported Hillary Clinton
A large number of Indian-Americans supported Hillary Clinton

But there are some concerns that Donald Trump’s surprise win as president in the US will give an unwelcoming message to international students. It will hurt the attractiveness of the US as the most preferred destination of choice. It’s an opinion, however, that many disagree with.

Dr Rahul Choudaha, co-founder, inter-EDGE.org, a US-based firm specialising in international student success, feels recruitment and admissions professionals will now have a hard time making a case for the US.

Business considerations are important to leaders. Prof Atindra Bhattacharya, head, marketing department, SOIL (School of Inspired Leadership), says Trump will in all probability actively look at participating with growing economies, India being one of them. The scope of such partnerships will involve academic tieups as well between the two nations, opening up the path for more students being accepted in US schools, partnerships for student exchange programmes, scholarships and Universities opening campuses across borders.

But there are concerns regarding the visa regime as well. Trump during his election campaign expressed concerns about immigration and outsourcing of jobs.

India will take up the issue of visa for Information Technology professionals as well as other contentious issues with the new Donald Trump administration in the United States.

India will continue to negotiate with the US government once it takes charge in early January, next year, Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday. India will communicate its position on trade issues and brief the US government about Indian industry’s contribution to the US economy, she added.

India has time and again raised concerns over the American visa regime and hike in visa fees as it impacts Indian IT industry which earns about 60% of its revenue from that market.

India has also filed a case in the WTO against the US decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas.

On the chances of the Trans Pacific Partnership being ratified by the United States now becoming low, Sitharaman said India will wait for the new administration to clearly spell out its stance.

The ambitious free trade deal between the US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, chances of the mega trade deal being ratified now looks slim.

“No matter what the presidential candidates promised during the campaign process, we do not know their position clearly”, Sitharaman said.

The deal, if passed, stands to see textile manufacturer Vietnam and IT outsourcing powerhouse Phillipines get access to the high value American market. Indian exporters have warned this would severely hit the domestic textile industry which relies on exports and has been steadily losing market share in Europe and other places.