The tumbling of capital and currency markets in many countries are some of the clearest indicators that the election of Donald John Trump as the 45th President of the United States has ushered in a new era of global uncertainty.
The sense of anxiety stems from Trump’s fearsome rhetoric which has stoked fear across the globe regarding America’s relations with other countries.
Analysts have said that if Trump executes his campaign pledges, he will upset U.S.-led alliances and institutions that have underpinned security and prosperity built over the past six decades.
Writing for Bloomberg Marc Champion and Nick Wadhams said: “His election marks a potentially fatal setback to the remarkable spread of liberal internationalism that began with the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. His policies could deliver crippling blows to the economies and security of Mexico and Ukraine, in particular.”
The New York times worried about ‘upending an international order that prevailed for decades and raising profound questions about America’s place in the world.’
Trump has threatened to use nuclear weapons in case the ISIS attacks the United States. He has also promised to re-negotiate several other global arrangements involving the US regarding trade and security.
Coming hot on the heals of the shocking Brexit vote in the UK in June 2016, some writers have warned that Trump’s victory adds to the reality of “a signal of the disintegration of the West”.
Following in the footsteps of the Brexit isolationist stance, the US under Trump has reduced the crop of world leaders supportive of liberal democracy, open borders and free trade.
Trump has said he wants America to stop being the global policeman, a role it has played since the 2nd world war but at a huge monetary and human cost to the American people.
If Trump indeed executes his threats of taking America from its position as the global policeman, some western commentators are vesting their hopes of someone standing up to bullies like Russia into other leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Trump has also threatened to pull American soldiers from bases in Germany, South Korea and Japan where the U.S has been spending billions of dollars to keep those countries secure.
Impact on Uganda
The American government has been a major donor to Uganda and supports several initiatives in the health, trade and agriculture sectors for several years now. According to reports from the US Embassy, the U.S spent over US$700m last financial year.
The U.S Embassy posted a congratulatory message to President-Elect Trump on its facebook page. But the Embassy said the divisions witnessed during the campaigns will be put aside for the sake of pursuing their shared interests.
“As Americans, as is our long tradition, we will put aside our partisan differences to come together and work as one nation on the challenges before us, and to achieve our shared goals in both domestic and foreign policy,” the U.S Embassy said.
Trump’s ‘extreme’ threats and implications.
Trump campaigned on the platform of anti-globalisation by threatening to raise tariffs on China and declaring the Asian country a currency manipulator. Experts warned though that this would add to volatility in global capital markets.
Trump has suggested working with Russia to fight Islamic State. But this would require accepting that President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia, remains in power. In the same spirit, this would bring the U.S in conflict with Saudi Arabia and several other U.S allies in NATO and the Arab region that are opposed to President Asaad.
Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric has also worried many un-documented immigrants in the United States. With many Africans and Ugandans in particular living and working in the U.S, the threat of expelling foreigners presents serious problems to Uganda in terms of a likely a decline in remittances.
Impact on Climate change
And the surprise election of Trump didn’t just stun globalisation enthusiasts. It also stocked doubt into international climate change negotiations currently underway in Marrakech, Morocco this week.
Climate negotiations in Peril?
Despite the entering into force of on November 4, 2016, of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, negotiators in Marrakech expressed fear that Trump could cancel Paris Climate Agreement that hopes to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. Trump is a climate change doubter, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama who greatly supported a paradigm shift towards greener energy paths.
“Science cannot expect any positive climate action from him,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in a statement. “The world has now to move forward without the U.S. on the road towards climate-risk mitigation and clean-technology innovation.”
“If the United States is no longer promising significant emissions cuts, why should major developing economies like India, which is racing to supply electricity to its immense population, stick to their own targets?
Without the leadership of the United States and other countries like China, scientists fear that the world will fail to stop an increase in global greenhouse gasses from going beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2020.