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India should ‘step up’ military and trade commitments – US presidential candidate

India should ‘step up’ military and trade commitments – US presidential candidate

Republican hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has highlighted New Delhi’s importance for Washington

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also arguing that New Delhi will play a vital role as a reliable US partner in deterring China in the Indo-Pacific region, news agency ANI has reported.   

Speaking on the PBD podcast on the Valuentainment platform, Ramaswamy said he would expect India to do more on its military and trade commitments with the US, but claimed that Washington had also done less than it could.  

I think that India is going to have to step it up a little bit. They haven’t really met the full level of military commitments that I’d like to see, a little woefully on the trade relationship, and you know understandably the US has also been a little bit less reliable than necessary. So I want to shore that up,” Ramaswamy stated.  

Biotech entrepreneur Ramaswamy, who is of Indian descent, has emerged as one of the top-polling Republican candidates behind former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election race. Aged 38, he is the youngest-ever GOP candidate.   

Responding to a question about his relations with Indian leader Modi, Ramaswamy was quoted as saying: “I don’t know him yet, but… the morning before he came for his joint session (at US Congress) so I stuck around, one of the people had me as their guest and so I stuck around and heard his address. I have been impressed by him as a leader.” 

Ramaswamy further stated that having India as a reliable partner for the US would be an additional deterrent to Xi Jinping, adding that avoiding war over Taiwan would be the “most important” foreign policy issue for the next US president. 

He previously told the PTI news agency that a stronger US-India relationship could “help the US declare independence from China.”   

The US should also have a stronger strategic relationship with India, including even a military relationship in the Andaman Sea. Knowing that India, if necessary, could block the Malacca Strait where actually China gets most of its Middle Eastern oil supplies. So, these are areas for real improvement in the US-India relationship,” he said.  

Ramaswamy has been vocal on ending the “disastrous” US support for Ukraine. He recently told Fox News that if elected, he would offer to freeze the current lines of control between Ukraine and Russia, and would make a “hard commitment” that NATO will not accept Ukraine as a member. In return, he said, Moscow would have to “exit its military alliance” with Beijing.

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