Somalilandsun: The US election is something that will have an effect on all of us whether we know it or not. the candidates have a different approach to world matters and the global economy.
Traditionally the democrats in the US have held a more protectionist position than their republican counterparts, however this is something that changed in 2016 when Donald trump became the president of the USA. President Trump had a different view than his predecessors and openly stated that the USA comes first. His nationalistic approach has led to trade wars with China and others over tariffs and the alienation of traditional allies such as the EU, Australia and Canada. The trade wars also led to collateral damage for the US economy since the tariffs had a negative effect on businesses. President Trump however often claims that the pre Covid 19 economy flourished because of him and his policies, something that most economist hold as at least partly true.
If we look forward we can see two candidates on opposite sides of the political spectrum. The centrist Joe Biden with more than 40 years of political experience and also experience, serving as vice president under president Obama. Trump is a businessman and TV personality turned politician and a man who often seeks to have a different approach to both domestic and international matters such as the Middle East.
Trump however as previously stated can claim successes in the field of economics but also as of lately in international arena with the peace deals signed with Arab states, something few, including the former secretary of state John Kerry thought was possible. The question now is how will the election and the outcome affect our lives?
If Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November, he will change course in a number of issues, including climate and the NATO alliance. However, he, like incumbent President Donald Trump, will continue to be tough on China, according to most researchers and analysts. The US is entrenched in a battle of hegemony against China, an economy that has steadily grown and made China a force to be reckoned with in the international arena, not only as an economy but also politically.
Since Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, the country has been characterized by an “America first” policy that has led to trade wars with both China and the EU. In addition, the United States has also withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, the international climate agreement that entered into force in 2016.
Should Democratic candidate Joe Biden win the presidential election in November, the world can count on a change of course, especially in environmental issues. A lot will change, including in the environmental area. The United States, for example, will re-join the Paris Agreement. Trump has been very negative about climate and environmental issues and I think they will be very much on the agenda if Joe Biden wins, something the Biden campaign stated over and over again.
If the Democrats take over the White House, migration policy will probably be more generous since they made a point out of criticising the stricter policies of President Trump in the last 4 years.
If Biden wins the idea of building walls towards Mexico will probably never be realised fully, even if a large part of the border already is either fenced or protected by a wall. The United States will also emphasise the traditional alliances with, for example, NATO in a completely different way than the sometimes hostile approach of Donald Trump.
Biden will probably also refrain from withdrawing troops from Europe, something that Donald Trump threatened to do numerous times.
Biden will probably not withdraw as many troops as Trump wants to do, absolutely not. He believes in alliances. Then it develops all the time. That Europeans should pay more is an old discussion Biden will be very tough against Russia, which he sees as the United States biggest opponent, not least because they are according to him and the security apparatus in the US meddling in the American election. The relationship with China will also be at the centre, and there Biden is critical of how American industry is losing to China, just as Trump has been so we can probably count on more trade wars to come regardless who wins the election.
How about Africa and the Middle East? If Biden wins we can probably expect a more traditional US policy, more engaging and traditional in nature. The risk here is that over the last 20 years not much happened since the signing of the peace accord between Israel and Jordan. Donald Trump is seeking to build alliances against Iran and other actors deemed to be a threat to the security of the United States by bringing former enemies together, a strategy that so far probed to be successful. If Joe Biden wins the approach will probably be of a more traditional nature but the question is how this will impact the region?
In respect of Africa the longstanding US goals has been to advance democracy, governance, security and peace. Development has also been high on the agenda for the United States. Under Donald Trump however we have seen a shift from the softer values of the past to an approach more focused on the recourses of Africa and countering Chinas increasing dominance in the region.
The election on November 3 will probably have an impact on all our lives in one way or the other. As of now Joe Biden leads in the national polls by on average 7 to 10 points, this means a steady lead but do not let this mislead you. The US electoral system means that instead of looking at the national polls, the polls on state level are more interesting if you want to predict the outcome. Each state has their own poll and the system is that the person who wins the most votes in a state gets all the electoral votes in a winner takes it all system. Some states are traditionally Democrats and others are Republican like Texas. Those states will probably not determine the outcome of the election.
The outcome will most likely be determined by who wins the so called swing states, states that are traditionally not leaning heavily to either side but their candidates from both sides can win. In the end of the race both candidates focus on those states where they can actually change the outcome and reach the desired 270 electoral votes needed to become the next president of the United States.
This time the risk is also that we will not know who wins the election on the night between November 3 and November 4 due to the fact that some absentee ballots and other early votes has not been counted. Many analysts say that we might end up in a situation where Donald Trump leads on the night of November 3 but will see his lead diminishing over time as the early votes are counted, this since democrats tend to go to the ballots earlier than republicans due to a different view on Covid 19. There is also a risk that this election will be settled in court instead of the traditional way. This since Donald Trump signalled that he might call the election unfair.
November 3 is soon here and much is at stake, perhaps all we can do is sit and wait for the outcome and see how the outcome will shape our lives. The United States is despite the rise of China the worlds only superpower and its importance can not be underestimated. Africa and the Middle East are areas that will most definitely feel the consequences regardless who in the end stands as the winner.
By: Henrik G.S. Arvidsson & Ruslana Arvidsson