Trump Campaign Woos Indian-Americans With J&K, China Policy

Trump has never interfered on Jammu & Kashmir, and has stood up to China like never before, say campaign officials.

2 min read
File image of US President Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a strong bid to woo Indian-American voters for the 2020 US presidential election, even as his Democrat rival Joe Biden has nominated Kamala Harris, who has Indian and Jamaican ancestry, as his vice-president pick.

The attempt is being made through its recently created ‘Indian Voices for Trump’ group and the Trump Victory Indian-American Finance Committee.

The controversial Republican president’s supporters have sought to win the Indian-American vote by pointing out that before the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been a record drop of 1/3rd in the unemployment rate among the community under Trump, PTI reported.

They have also reportedly emphasised Trump’s foreign policy positions for India’s benefits, claiming that he has “elevated India’s stature on the world stage,” according to PTI.

“Kashmir is the most sensitive issue for every Indian, as well as every Indian-American. Trump has never interfered in the Internal affairs of India – Kashmir – which is an integral part of India. No other US President has stood up to China as much as President Trump has," PTI quotes Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian Finance Committee and Indian Voices for Trump, as saying.

The Trump campaign’s pitch focuses a lot on the economic advantages of a Trump presidency for Indian-Americans and India. They argue that during Trump’s tenure, energy exports from US to India have grown, India has purchased historic amounts of military equipment from the US including Apache helicopters, and Indian steel companies were investing in the US.

"The Indian-American community is filled with hard-working achievers who create jobs, technology, and small businesses, all of which have thrived thanks to Trump," says Harneet Kaur Dhillon, co-chair of Indian Voices for Trump, according to PTI.

She is also reported to have added that "In addition to these economic metrics, the administration's focus on equal opportunity as opposed to quotas has ensured educational and job opportunities for Indian-American students and workers.”

Al Mason is reported to have conducted a recent survey in key states for the upcoming election, and found that Indian-Americans ‘feel respected and acknowledged for the first time by a US president’, PTI notes.

Trump has previously made statements in support of the community in the past, including during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September 2019. PTI reported him as saying at the time that:

“In America, we have come to know the splendor of Indian culture personally, through the 4 million Indian Americans living in the United States as our wonderful friends, colleagues, and neighbors. They are truly spectacular people. Indian Americans enrich every aspect of our national life.”
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