5 ways Indians can tame Donald Trump’s world trade wars

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Published: January 23, 2017 4:18:58 PM

Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US President has made it clear that the world we have seen so far, especially in the last two decades, is going to change in the coming months.

Trump’s rhetoric is appealing to many Americans as the last time the country was “great” was when it kept itself aloof from world’s politics. (Reuters)Trump’s rhetoric is appealing to many Americans as the last time the country was “great” was when it kept itself aloof from world’s politics. (Reuters)

Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US President has made it clear that the world we have seen so far, especially in the last two decades, is going to change in the coming months.

The new US administration has left enough signals for the rest of the world to rethink about the basic tenets of globalization – that is free trade and free exchange of cultures. As far as cultures are concerned, Trump’s inaugural speech makes one believe that the US, from now on, would promote the American culture on a priority basis. Nothing much wrong in that as it is believed that American culture supports pluralism of beliefs and practices. As the world’s largest democracy, Indians also believe and support such ideals.

But what is a matter of concern is Trump’s inward-looking trade promise. He wants to “make America great again”. It means, the new US administration wants its companies to work for, survive, and, may be, thrive on the American territory. This may sound contrary to the theories of globalization that have been fed to the last few generations in universities and colleges.

Trump’s rhetoric is appealing to many Americans as the last time the country was “great” was when it kept itself aloof from world’s politics – that is before the World War I. It was also the US’s secret of success before it started flaunting its muscles across the world.

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Trump wants to take the US back to its roots and herein lies a danger for countries like India, which has recently started to enjoy the fruits of globalization. But then, in the changed global political-economic scenario, Indians still have these five ways to tame the mayhem Trump administration’s trade and economic policies may unleash on the world. These are not empirical formula but the best ideals that can make India self-sufficient and “great” the way it has always been.

1. Make in India, sell in India

Think of the world when there were no flight connectivity and easy sea routes. Indian economy thrived because it was self-sufficient. By the virtue of the size of consumer population within the country, Indian companies can still thrive by making and selling in India. If we start doing this, the world market will start looking up to us. In an ideal situation, Indian companies would be better off selling its products across the world. But with Trump, the ideal situation is dead.

2. Think big, beat American, Chinese, Japanese… etc. minds

Bestowed with world’s largest youth population, why can’t India produce world’s best products and services? One reason could be that Indian education system is in perils. True. But then all education systems help produce good workers only. Innovators emerge when they start thinking on their own and stop worrying about temporary casualties like careers, marriage etc.

It is time to start thinking beyond what the Americans, Chinese or the Japanese can. Dreams come true when we start thinking — that is the first step.

3. Embrace nationalism

It may sound ironic to many liberals. But nationalism is the word set to define the course of 21st century, before humans set their foot on alien territories like the Mars. Indians, hence, can thrive better by embracing nationalism for the time being. The another irony for liberals in India today is that nationalism is seen with reference to one particular party and one person – BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But arguing on ironies won’t help when India is faced with inward-looking economies like Trump’s America or even China.  Nationalism helps in business; it helped when India fought the British.

4. Dump politics, fight for economics

The political divide over matters of national concern in the country today is sickening. When the world has already started embracing virtues of nationalism, Indian politicians have no choice but to come together, not for politics but for economics. If they can’t do, and still find support from people, I hope, Gods will save the country.

5. Look to the past for cue

Looking to the past is necessary. It helps in charting a course for the future. While India’s venerated past may not have all answers to present woes, it can still fill in us a belief that we have inherited a great civilization. Why should Trump’s America become “great”, when we, the people of India, are already great? The past has answers to a lot of our present worries.

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