International Opinion: US Presidential Election

As shocking as the UK’s decision to the exit from the European Union, was the US presidential election. This year was a surprising one for almost all of us!

 With the feeling of shock and excitement, we anticipate how each country will welcome the new President of the world’s most powerful country and how the world will move. In Japan, they will see a rather pessimistic attitude because of the problem of the military spending cost, imported goods such as Japanese cars, tax rate increase, immigration restrictions etc.

Ireland seems to have similar uneasiness though every country, even including the United States itself, appears to be anxious. As a one of the reasons, a number of Ireland’s illegal immigrants live in the United States and they are caring about if and by which extent immigration measures will become stricter.  Dropping down the current 35% corporate tax to win many international companies over to the United States might make a critical impact on Ireland  which is a country in Europe with a significant low tax rate of 12.5%.

Besides this, other countries may get be affected by this:

The impact on the Dutch general election

In the news on 29th November, it is reported that Geert Wilders, the leader of the extreme right “Party for Freedem”(PVV), who is anti-islam, has been gathering the greatest support. The situation was that Wilder was in a trial by having done a hate speech, which is conversely gaining support.

The influence on the presidential election in France

Speaking of France, terrorism occurred one after another. The extreme right party and Marine Le Penn, the leader of the National Front, now might be able to get a lot of support because nothing seems to be impossible as Trump actually was elected. This party is calling for a referendum on immigration and refugee exclusion, anti-Islam, and even an exit from the EU.

Then, how about the impact on EU?

 1) Operation and security of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

President Trump has criticized that the  “NATO is outdated”. He is highly likely to reduce its contribution to NATO.

The NATO is a military alliance between North America and Europe, originally made to counter the Soviet Union. It is a framework on which collective self-defense rights are a prerequisite. Today, elements such as counterterrorism and conflict intervention are getting stronger.

Even if it is not definite, NATO’s deterrence drops and Russia’s influence will increase given that the United States could withdraw from NATO.

 2) Acceleration of anti-euro thoughts

President Trump seems to be contrary to globalism. His idea is even closer to nationalism.

It is said “defend your country by your own country” or “to lose the interests of your country for other countries is stupid” by him.

In fact, there is no doubt that these remarks would have a meaning to Germans.

These are words that uncover contradictions to the mechanism of the EU.

Indeed, the atmosphere inside the EU, which has saved Greece’s pinch many times, is bad and indeed the idea of withdrawal from the EU is not only present in the UK. It is also becoming popular and supported in France and Germany.

 3) The Middle East might become more unstable

Even if the NATO weakens and the intervention in conflict of the Middle East decreases,  refugee movements will increase further and in contrast to this the number of people who refuse refugee acceptance has been increasing.

At the same time, refugees would have a sense of dissatisfaction and resentment against the EU may expand. Deterrence of ISIL is still a problem in European countries, speaking of refugees and their security.

Thus, no one can predict what will happen from now on, it is true that the influence of Trump on European countries is growing more or less, so we should keep our eye on this.

– Shunsuke

Image labelled for reuse and free of rights.



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