#USElection2016: Full employment, a balanced budget and peace on Earth. What’s not to like?
For the second time this year, shockwaves are reverberating around the world following an election, this time in the US. Trump, who seemed like a bad joke, is now the 45th President of the United States of America. So help us God, writes Catherine Feore.
What does this mean for Europe?
Everyone who has been working on a trade deal between the US and Europe that would have been good for the EU and US economy, can sit back. Tomorrow, they can vertically file any achievements to date. There will be no progress in the foreseeable future.
But it is more serious than this. Trump isn’t just opposed to trade deals, he is opposed to the workings of the World Trade Organization. Trump plans some tough negotiations with the WTO. He is confident that he will get agreement because as “the world’s largest importer and third largest exporter…we have the leverage”. As Trump rightly points out, the US is the real player – the UK’s attempt to throw a spanner in the works is nothing in comparison to the US’s real power.
Since 2000, Trump has openly questioned America’s commitment to NATO. At a time when Europe’s eastern neighbours are facing a real and present danger from an aggressive Russia, the US has voted for a leader who wants to weaken his commitment to one of the world’s most successful forces for peace and stability.
Speculation has started on who will be the new Secretary of State. One of the top candidates is Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is vocally opposed to the Iranian nuclear deal framework. Again, ditch this.
It’s the economy, stupid
For those in Europe enthusiastically supporting austerity, there are lessons that should have already been learned. In Trump’s victory speech, he promised full employment, lots of infrastructure spending. He has already committed himself to lower taxes and a balanced budget.
The message is: unemployment causes poverty, employment creates prosperity; unemployment benefits burden the economy but job creation stimulate the economy. So far so good – it got Hitler elected in 1932.
The more troubling side of this anti-austerity message is that when coupled with xenophobia, in Trump’s case anti-Latino, anti-Black and anti-Muslim, it is a very dangerous mix indeed.
The message for Europe should be clear. End austerity now!