By Dhiren Sharma
Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece and views expressed in this article are not necessarily reflective of The Beehive or The Beehive’s associated writers.
Donald Trump (at the time of writing) has been in power for 29 turbulent days. His first minutes were turbulent enough, with that fiery speech he gave at his inauguration. But I want to find out what his election means for countries all over the globe, and which countries will be most affected- for better or for worse.
Mexico is the obvious country that will be affected. Trump’s infamous plan to “build a wall” on the border of the USA and Mexico is just the tip of the iceberg of Mexico’s newfound trouble. Firstly, Trump plans to scrap NAFTA, calling it “The worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country”. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is a free trade agreement between the USA, Canada and Mexico, meaning that most tariffs on products traded between these countries are eliminated. It was first implemented in 1994. Economists largely agree that NAFTA has provided benefits to the economies of all three countries. For the USA specifically, experts say that thee organization has provided a positive impact, with a total addition of $80 billion dollars to the US economy. Yet Trump argues that NAFTA is to blame for job losses and wage stagnation in the US, mainly due to companies moving to Mexico for lower costs. The is a question mark over how Mexico will handle the huge economic pressure put onto it by the scrapping of NAFTA, especially because it sends 80% of its exports and draws 60% of its imports from the United States.
A less obvious country that Trump will have an effect on is Japan. Prime minister Shinzo Abe was the most recent world leader to visit Washington and, awkward handshake aside, declared it as success. A key issue for discussion was the economics, and Abe must have been relieved with the outcome as there was no talk of any new tariffs being imposed. A bigger issue however, was international security, with North Korea launching a new missile during the visit of Abe. Many believe this may not have been a coincidence. It evidenced the importance of a strong relationship between Japan and the USA. Again, Abe must have been relieved to hear that Trump reiterated Washington’s commitment to defending Japan.
The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) will definitely not have been pleased to hear the outcome of the US presidential election. This is due to Donald Trump’s famous hatred of NATO, and his friendliness with Russia. The Baltic states are all members of the EU and NATO. Yet they are fearful of neighbouring giant Russia, and being brought back under Russian influence. This fear was doubled when Trump came into power, because the risk of the USA pulling out of NATO was large. Without America, NATO is heavily weakened, and without American support, the Kremlin will see this as a perfect time to regain the countries that got away.
Israel is another country that will be affected by the election of Donald Trump. Trump himself told voters that he would be “very good to Israel.” He later told press that he, and therefore the US, was not committed to a two state solution to solve the Israel- Palestine crisis. He wanted to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Finally, I want to find out how will trump affect us in the UK? Firstly, the UK stock markets fell when Trump’s victory was announced. Since then though, many have recovered. In terms of trade, Obama famously said that the UK will go to “The back of the queue” for a US trade deal if Brexit happened. As we all know, Brexit indeed happened. However, the Trump camp is more positive. Trump himself said Brexit made “no difference” to trade relations with the US, and his trade advisor Dan DiMicco said he “absolutely” wanted to strike a trade deal between the two countries. In terms of travel, most things would stay the same- until Trump’s travel ban on 7 mainly Muslim countries. The foreign office has said that UK nationals would not be affected, even if they were born in one of the seven countries. The ban has since been lifted but whether it will be implemented again or not remains to be seen. In fact, the global effect of Trump remains to be seen.