The United States and Israel suffered a huge humiliation at…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
The largely unexpected election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has changed global politics and international relations in a way that nothing apart from Britain’s Brexit vote has done in decades. President-elect Trump has made it clear that he is going to focus mainly on the direct interests of the United States which has the consequence of forcing many countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America to rethink their defence and economic policies. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is likely to be weakened because Trump has made it clear that unless smaller members of the alliance contribute more in terms of human and material resources, he is not ready to shield them from Russian aggression and terrorist organizations beginning to knock on Europe’s borders -2 major threats that some NATO members in Europe worry about. The same applies to Southeast Asian countries worried about Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
Free trade agreements are immediately under threat as Trump’s protectionist policies are antithetical to globalization. He wants jobs that have been outsourced by companies to places like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh brought back to the United States. He is also looking at exiting or renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement which is meant to allow better trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.
While many observers see Trump’s approach and policies as detrimental to world peace and economic well-being, I disagree with their position for these reasons:
In terms of global trade, Donald Trump has a huge $500 billion reconstruction plan for the United States’ aging infrastructure and this has already led to increase in commodity prices with the stocks of commodity trading companies rising as a result of the expected boom to come in this sector. While countries like Australia, Russia and South Africa are likely to benefit more from this, it also provides opportunities for African countries that are still reliant on exporting raw materials used in construction. Nigeria for example seeks to diversify from oil with solid minerals being a convenient new revenue earner to tap into. Increased commodity prices in the global market could spur investment for Nigeria and other African countries if they organize their mining industries properly.
Many observers and analysts have defined Trump’s proposed economic policies as transactional and if he manages to strike great deals for his country growing its wealth, the world stands to benefit through trade with it as exports should rise to meet the increasing demand in the United States.
On immigration, Trump plans to make it difficult for people to enter the United States illegally which is likely to dissuade many educated and skilled people from all over the world from making an attempt to do so, something they would in all likelihood try without such a tough stance. This could help reduce brain drain and also encourage many skilled residents and citizens of the United States with foreign roots to engage more with their countries of origin especially through investments. It will benefit a lot of developing countries as these returnees bring capital, know-how and new ideas to improve their home countries.
In the political sphere there is likely to be a plurality of powers in the world instead of one superpower overreaching and overstretching itself with dire consequences for some countries like what we have in Syria, Iraq and Libya to mention a few destabilized by meddling from the United States and its allies.
A world where countries like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Germany in a post-Brexit Europe have large regional spheres of influence seems likely under a President Trump and as the balance of power shifts from largely the United States alone to several countries, the likelihood of major conflict seems greater unless the new major powers can define the New World Order in more equitable terms especially at the level of the United Nations. The reactions of other world leaders to Trump’s policies are probably just as important as the policies as he seeks to achieve his stated mission to ‘Make America Great Again’.
Abdulkabir Olatunji is the Head of Strategy at Jarus & JAN Internet Group and an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). His interests include writing, blogging, all-things-tech and analysis of current affairs and sports. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @maclatunji