WEB DESK: Donald Trump, America’s blustering celebrity mogul has finally cinched the Republican Party nomination for president.
His candidacy comes as a disappointment for his own party establishment, fellow Americans across the political spectrum as well as decent people everywhere are offended by his anti-immigration proposal to build a wall on the US border with Mexico with Mexican money and banning Muslims from entering the US. They are also alarmed by his seemingly simplistic solutions for everything.
Now that he has won the candidacy, it remains to be seen whether his provocative rhetoric was mere hot air or had substance to it. Inundated by chants of “build that wall, build that wall” during his acceptance speech, Trump seemed to have softened his stance a bit as instead of joining the chant he tried to turn the chanters’ attention to the need of winning against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
But little else is likely to change. Cashing in on the public’s growing disillusionment with the status quo amid an economic slowdown that has hit hard middle and lower income groups, he iterated his call to put “America first” declaring “Americanism, not globalisation will be our credo”. In practical terms that means, if elected, he could hold good on his earlier statements to renegotiate, if not pull out of, the North America Free Trade Agreement withdrawing also from Trans-Pacific Partnership, and slap heavy tariffs on imports from China, which could trigger a trade war with that country – all of this holds serious implications for the global economy. More interestingly, he promises to apply his successful business model to foreign policy as it relates to the country’s military engagements abroad for the furtherance of its economic interests.
He recently told The New York Times he is against making investments in the US-led Nato alliance unless reimbursed by other members, arguing that “it is in our mutual interest.” His response to a question about the possible repercussions of insistence on reimbursements was a businessman’s calculus that Nato is not helpful as “we have massive trade deficits, I could see that, if instead of having a trade deficit world-wide of $800 billion, we had a trade positive of $100 billion, $200 billion, $800 billion. So how has it helped us”? Also, breaking an unspoken convention not to challenge previous governments’ policies, in this case troop maintenance in South Korea, he said “maybe you would have had a unified Korea … but in the meantime we’ve let North Korea get stronger and stronger and more nuclear, and more nuclear” posing the question “how is that a good thing?”
Trump has outraged civilised sensibilities with his anti-immigration near racist rhetoric, however, considering his thinking on international affairs he may not be so dangerous after all, at least for this part of the world. His views vis-a-vis military interventions and projection of America’s power indicate that if he becomes president the country will adopt a more inward looking policy, which in fact will not be something new. There has been a period, post-World War I, when the US turned its attention away from the world to focus on fixing its own problems with impressive results. A return to that policy would mean fewer, if any, destructive military adventures abroad. That could be a good thing.
Source: Business Recorder