US President Donald Trump sees China as a threat, Republican leader and Indian American Nikki Haley has said, adding that she would campaign and work “very hard” to get him re-elected in the November elections.
Addressing the virtual India Ideas Summit organized by US India Business Council, Haley said on Wednesday that the threat China poses to the US would be one of the factors in the November presidential elections.
“I think that (security threat from China) will be one factor (in the elections). I think that you have president Trump who very much sees China as a threat,” Haley said in response to a question in the concluding session of the two-day India Ideas Summit, that among others was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I think that you have (Democratic nominee) Joe Biden, who has said that China is not the problem and who was against the travel ban to China and who has not shown, in any of his time that he was in the Obama administration, as realizing the threat that China had. So, I think it will be one of the factors that’s going to be very important in this next election,” she said.
Haley, who served as US Ambassador to the United Nations during the first two years of the Trump Administration, deflected a question on her potential presidential run during the summit.
What about 2024, she was asked. “You know what, a year is a lifetime in politics. It would not be smart of me to start thinking of 2024. Now our focus is on November. We’ll keep doing that and we’ll take it a year at a time after that,” Haley replied.
“I can tell you right now, I’m going to be campaigning and working very hard for president Trump. I think where we have come on foreign policy, where we saw the economy prior to COVID is very strong. I believe in the policies that he’s put forward and I’ll be campaigning hard for him and look forward to a win by president Trump in November,” she said.
Responding to a question, Haley said while India and the US have felt a lot of challenges over this past year, especially during COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of opportunities have also come up for both of them.
The Republican leader said she is pleased to see the relationship between president Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi strengthened over the past few years.
“That was warranted. They are natural allies. India and the United States are a lot of the same values, the same work ethic, the same family values. It’s important that we just continue to take that relationship forward,” she said.
Haley hoped that the United States will come together with India, along with allies like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and try and find ways to continue to be less dependent on China.
“But with the aggression that we’re seeing from China against India and against the United States, it only makes more sense that we try and find more opportunities. That’s going to be on the supply chain side. That’s going to be in the defense side. That’s going to be in the healthcare side. It’s going to continue to be in our tech companies and all the other things,” she said.
Noting that when India and the US have tried to do a trade deal before, tariffs primarily on agricultural products have got in the way, Haley said the two countries need to make sure that they look at the opportunities and be flexible enough while going forward.
“Everyone is going to start to look at India as they’re looking at Vietnam and other places to see how they can get less dependent on China,” she said.
“If India can make some concessions in order to bring all of this trade in, I think that there will be massive amounts, not just from the United States, but from other countries that really lean into India to try and do those things,” Haley said.
India will have to see how it can be more enticing to countries for trade, “because the political will from the United States to trade with India is there,” she said.