On Tuesday afternoon, Duncan Hunter, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives and Congressional Co-Chair for Donald Trump’s campaign, appeared for an interaction with the Washington-based USINPAC, a bipartisan political action committee that works to promote India-US relations.


Hunter, a Congressman from California, spent about half-an-hour as a surrogate for the Trump campaign during the course of the Google Hangout, trying to articulate what the New York billionaire and reality TV phenomenon’s administration would mean for India and for Indian-Americans. Hunter’s interaction was often marred by a choppy connection that rendered many of his remarks incoherent. That may just be emblematic of the Trump policy framework towards India, one that has, so far, been marked by statements that could be considered disjointed.


Hunter can’t be blamed for that disconnect. After all, he repeatedly stressed Trump’s positions on various issues, including those relating to India would become clearer in a couple of months. At this time, though, they are as clear as the waters of the Yamuna.


‘America First and Foremost’ Mantra


On the issue of H1B visa, Hunter said the system of legal immigration “needs to be updated.” While campaigning during the Florida primary earlier this year, Trump had come out angrily against those temporary work permits. Now, the pivot. Hunter explained that the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for the presidential election in November, is “amenable” to maintaining the visa levels since he “understands” the need for highly skilled workers in the technology sectors. If true, that is a classic Trump move that reminds one of a patient with bipolar disorder. He changes topics as often as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and recently described many policies that won him a record primary vote as merely “suggestions.”


Hunter also pointed out that Trump wants to “lead” on the India-US relationship but will follow a mantra of “America first and foremost” whether dealing with “India, China or Norway, for that matter.”


Donald’s aping of the accent of a call center representative from India, or clubbing India among those nations stripping America of employment were all suggestive enough, but we can all hope those too were simply suggestions.


Source: The Quint




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