It may not be apt to say that US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton plans to follow in the footsteps of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But one of her plans is something, for which PM Modi may claim the credit, if she manages to beat Republican motormouth Donald Trump. Among the several new initiatives launched by Modi government to break from the economic inertia it inherited from the UPA is ‘Make in India’ which aims to encourage manufacturing in the country. Interestingly, Clinton also has a similar plan with an added ‘it’ — ‘Make It in America’.
Clinton believes that manufacturing is at the heart of American economy. If elected, she plans to bring manufacturing jobs to the US, empower manufacturing communities and save them from “unfair competition” from foreign nations like China. Replying to a question on Quora about her plans for the manufacturing sector in the US, Hillary writes: “Throughout my career and in this campaign, I have stood up for American manufacturing and I am committed to doing that as president. In order to bring manufacturing jobs to the U.S., we have to get serious about strengthening our manufacturing communities and protecting them from unfair competition.”
In contrast, Modi believes India must invite world powers to manufacture their products in the country. In his maiden Independence Day speech, Modi had said, “If we have to put in use the education, the capability of the youth, we will have to go for manufacturing sector and for this Hindustan also will have to lend its full strength, but we also invite world powers. Therefore I want to appeal all the people world over: Come, make in India, Come, manufacture in India.”
Writing on Quora, Clinton has detailed important aspects of her five-point ‘Make it in America’ plan. She says the plan will help in making US the first choice for production and bring more manufacturing jobs to the US. The five features, Clinton writes, are:
1. $10 billion investment in ‘Make It in America’ partnerships to bring people from all classes and all levels and to harness the strength of manufacturing communities across the US.
2. To be strict against countries like China to prevent countries like China from abusing international trade rules and act against theft of American inventions. Further, she plans to reject all trade agreements, including Trans Pacific Partnership, that do not meet the “high standards” of the US.
3. Focus on areas hit by manufacturing job loss by proving tax incentives for encouraging investment for communities living in such areas.
4. A crack down on companies taking jobs away from the US and provide incentives to those who can generate employment in the US. She also plans to take back the “special tax breaks” provided to organisations which have taken jobs away from the country.
5. Investment in America’s manufacturing workforce to make American manufacturing the cleanest and most competitive in the world.
While PM Modi wants to transform India into a “global industrial hub” with ‘Make in India’, Clinton’s plan is more inward looking, and may be more nationalistic, to save the future of America. It is also interesting that when India is taking steps to open herself more for the global manufacturers, the US leader plans to embark on the time-tested conventional mode of production and job creation from within. Which among the two countries will gain more from their respective strategies, however, can’t be predicted as yet.