A rank outsider Mr. Donald Trump’s advent into the White House must be the biggest surprise of the year we are going to bid adieu in a month from now. The outcome of the United State’s Presidential election and the positive endorsement of Britain’s exit from the European Union signal emergence of the protectionist trends on the global level. Evidently, the quarter century of globalization is showing signs of retreat.
What do these trends portend for world and especially the poorer countries and Muslim communities around the world? It is natural to be overcome with sense of grief and loss to see a man who has unabashedly called for ban on Muslim immigrants, who detests inclusiveness, is xenophobic and is ultra-right to be in the seat of the world’s legally most powerful individual. It is especially so when one was confident of him losing the battle against someone who canvassed for an inclusive America.
Trump is clear with his agenda of unhinging the US from commitments abroad. In his move towards creating more jobs, he would like to pull out the US from Trans Pacific Trade Agreements; cut down immigrations and slash job (H1-B) visas; raise a wall on borders with Mexico; recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (which Israel proclaims, but is not internationally recognized); withdraw American forces from various battlegrounds; put a five-year ban on official executives turning lobbyists after leaving Government jobs; impose lifelong ban on official executives becoming lobbyists of foreign governments; enter into bilateral agreements on trade.
His policy to build up energy security through development of local energy (Shale is the new ingredient) sources is all likely to dip the global demand for Arab oil and impact oil pricing. As for the West Asia, the US policy is all expected to tow the line by the dominant think tanks which are mainly funded by pro-Israeli interests. Trump is not likely to change the tack where even Obama could not succeed. If he decides to recall the US troops from Afghanistan, (currently around 10,000 US personnel are engaged in training the Afghanistan’s security forces), it may cause instability for the Afghan Government headed by Mr. Ashraf Ghani and may strengthen the fanatic Talibans.
Vow to cut immigration from Muslim countries may worsen the plight of asylum seekers from battle-scarred Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya and perpetually famine-stricken and embattled Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. Curtailment of job visas is likely to affect countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which have served as technology pool for the MNCs in the US. A similar cut in students’ visas seems unlikely, for it would push several universities into red. Even if he tries to take all the people with him, race relations may remain under stress as the heat generated by the hate-filled canvassing will take time to die down. The tenure of the xenophobic billionaire will be worth-watching as to how he overcomes the challenge of carrying a highly pluralistic like America with him.