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What Will Trump's Global Effects Be?

11/11/2016 12:39
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Donald Trump's contentious victory as the 45th US President will undeniably have rippling effects experienced throughout the world due to the transformations in relationships with other countries that will occur after Trump implements his various policies.

Colossal criticism has been asserted by Trump on the membership of the US in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation), an intergovernmental military alliance. For the past 60 years, American foreign policy has been shaped around NATO. Trump condemned the organisation by claiming it as superseded and stated that its members were churlish allies who benefit from the USA's munificence. Hence, Trump has proposed he would retract American forces from European and Asian countries unless they pay up. NATO is indubitably dominant, composing 70% of the global total of combined military spending. Trump's chief complaint lies with the issue of the NATO members not meeting their expectation of spending at least 2% of their GDP on defence, with only five of 28 allies doing so. With the US spending the most defence, significantly more than the 2% of GDP asked from NATO members, Trump wants America's European allies to "pay their bills".

Trump has stated his belief in easing tensions with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, praising him as a strong leader, claiming they would have a peaceful relationship with one another. Albeit Obama claimed he wanted to "reset" the US-Russia relations and start fresh during his term, the ties have remained strained, feeble and indignant. It must be noted that Trump has not elaborated much on what the idea of 'easing tensions' actually entails but both Russia and the USA share the intention of fighting against the radicals of the so-called Islamic state of Syria.

Perhaps the fundamental change to the world will be the escalation in tensions between countries after the execution of Trump's policies. With the intent of scrapping the NAFTA between the US, Canada and Mexico, and the potential withdrawal from the World Trade Organisation, protectionism will be on the rise. With a fervent desire to stop 'job losses', Trump has the wherewithal to impose tariffs of 45% on China and 35% on goods shipped from Mexico. Subsequent effects of tariffs include an increase in prices for consumers, a decline in imports and potentially, retaliation from China. Implementation of these tariffs will result in 'de-globalisation' and is likely to increase tensions between the US and China even further.

However, Trump's argument for this is to enable Americans to gain their jobs back because the increase in tariffs will impel domestic production to occur and a spell of 'self-sufficiency', prompting more Americans to be employed in the manufacturing and production of these products. By increasing the employment levels, the standard of living of Americans will increase, especially those who have not seen substantial change under Obama.

Despite the likelihood of an increase in protectionist policy, a Donald Trump presidency is expected to be welcome by China, which is expecting a more isolationist US foreign policy. Another task of Trump's tasks on his to-do list is to suppress the likelihood of Asian countries such as North Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons while encouraging countries such as Japan and South Korea to reduce their dependency on the US and develop more nuclear arsenals for themselves.

US politics is deemed to be in entire shambles with Trump calling Kim Jong-un a "bad dude" yet also stating that he would happily negotiate with him. These somewhat erratic statements by Trump make the US less hopeful for a 'safe' America but we can only sit back and watch how Trump approaches exceedingly complex political issues between countries like North Korea and the US. Perhaps, he could even use his "You're fired" phrase from The Apprentice to North Korea when discussing nuclear weapons.

With the Paris Climate Agreement having being ratified in April 2016, the president-elect proposes the notion of "cancel(ing)" all of the climate change regulations that Obama implemented during his term, within his first 100 days of office. Obama recognised that early on, he would be unable to push through significant legislation as the Republicans held both houses of Congress and, subsequently, Obama compiled a plethora of initiatives to decrease the USA's greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption using regulation. However, the flip side of the coin means that Trump has the power to immediately order the regulators to cease enforcing the rules with the identical authority Obama utilised to get these in motion. Examples of what Trump will cancel include the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to let states develop strategies to decrease carbon pollution from power plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. Thus, it will be no surprise that there will be a notable hitch in the reduction OF greenhouse gas emissions. To the dismay of green organisations across the world, Trump has a set idea of using coal for manufacturing, despite the lack of fossil fuels and the negative externalities of COAL consumption.

However, it should be noted that Trump has argued that human-caused climate change is a lie and is a "hoax created by the Chinese" in an attempt to reduce the competitiveness of US manufacturing by using more renewable energy sources or less efficient energy. Furthermore, the US remains legally bound to the Paris Plan for 4 years so we could still expect to see Obama's climate change plans materialise. Moreover, although environmentalists will not be a fan of Trump's plan, the focus is on providing cheaper energy for families across the nation and through this, employment levels are expected to increase, placing a positive multiplier effect on the US economy and for subsequent generations.

We can expect to see significant changes with Trump's presidency, from his protectionist policies to his flimsy approach to protecting the environment. There is the possibility that Trump will be able to fulfil President Bush's aim of a "Europe whole and free and at peace" but Trump's intermittent personality and radical approaches to ethnic minorities in the US induces more fear in both the US and the UK. The only way we can approach the next four years is by "keeping calm and carry(ing) on."

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