Trump winning the Presidential election could mean world-wide economic and social disaster

Introduction

The night of November 8th, 2016 was a nerve wracking one for just about everyone in the world following the United States of America Presidential election. Waiting in anticipation of the results had most Canadians going to bed with a feeling of unease and uncertainty to what they would awake to on the morning of November 9th. The results were released and Donald J. Trump came out victorious and was elected 45th president of the U.S. For some it was considered a success, to others, a great disappointment. And this feeling was shared among many people, not just U.S. citizens, but people all over the world. I first saw an article through social media entitled “Canada Receives Over 10 Million US Immigrant Applications” and I decided to look into what impact the results of this election would have on a global scale, and I was able to relate it to several learning objectives for this course, Geography for Tourism and Business.

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Objective 1

The first objective I tied this article to is “current complex issues are involved on an international scale”. This has been made very obvious from the reactions of a lot of countries around the world, including Canada. A lot of people have taken to social media to express their opinions on the outcome of the election, and even though it does not affect them directly, it is inevitable that it will affect them indirectly.

To prove this, we can easily look at Trump’s policies. The most obvious one and the one that gets brought up in arguments and discussions on the topic is that the president-elect wants to build a wall to separate Mexico and the United States, to prevent illegal immigrants to enter the country. Trump has made remarks about Mexican immigrants, calling them all rapists and criminals, and has made it very clear that he wants to kick them out of the country and build a wall to keep the rest of the criminals out. (Trump win elicits fears, some cheers around the globe, 2016) Not only is this a decision and a policy that was based on prejudice and fear, but the impact of this will certainly have and economical and geographic effect on both countries.

In 2014, there were more than 11.7 million Mexican immigrants in the United States, representing 28% of the foreign born population. In the same year, there were about 2.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the state of California alone. Texas had about 1.6 million, and in total there is an estimated 11.1 million unauthorized or undocumented immigrants in the United States. (U.S. unauthorized immigration population estimates, 2016) Most, if not all, immigrants coming from Mexico or other places in the world are looking for jobs and a better chance at life than what they had in their home country, some of them even trying to escape war-ridden areas of the world. This means that if Trump goes through with his idea of removing all immigrants from the country, that would mean that at the very least, 11.1 million people would be removed from the country.

Displacing that many people would not only present itself as an enormous cost in terms of immigration agents, lawyers, and support staff, but it would also mean that the jobs that those 11.1 million people detained would not be filled and that would have an important effect on the US economy and the specific industries that have employed undocumented immigrants.As stated in an article on the Business Insider website, “forcibly removing millions of workers would be economically devastating, potentially leading private-sector output to decline by hundreds of billions of dollars”. It is possible that these jobs would then be filled by native-born or lawful immigrants, but there is not enough unemployed people to take over, so that would then lead to jobs being unfilled and simply disappearing.(Donald Trump’s deportation plan would be an economic nightmare, 2016)

Canada is another country that is already being hugely affected by the results of the election. Even before it was official that Trump was going to become president-elect and the live polls were showing that he was in the lead, Canada’s immigration and citizenship website crashed, due to over 10 million people sending in applications to become Canadian citizens. The idea of Americans moving to Canada has been going around since Trump had been announced as one of the presidential candidates. Prime Minister Trudeau was quick to make an announcement the morning following the election that the numbers had climbed to 11.5 million applications from American residents wanting to immigrate to Canada. He stated that not all applications would be accepted, but they would most likely ease the immigration rules in order to accommodate most of the applicants. (Canada Receives Over 10 Million US Immigrant Applications, 2016)

If 11.5 million people were to leave America to come to Canada, this would of course affect our economy. Canada is an aging population, which means that more and more Canadians are retiring. (More Canadians are 65 and over than under age 15, StatsCan says, 2015) An incoming population of potential workers would do wonders for Canada’s economy.

However, if another 11.5 million US citizens leave the country and their jobs, assuming they are not part of the 11.1 million undocumented Mexican immigrants that will be forcefully removed from the country and most likely sent back to their country of origin, that means that a possible total of 22.6 million people would be leaving the US, within a matter of years, and maybe even a couple of months, depending on how quick Trump is to put his foot down and go through with his policies.

To summarise, it is clear that the majority of Trump’s policies are based on prejudice and playing on people’s fears in order to gain supporters. If he were to put his policies into action, it would be an enormous economic disaster for America, but it would also affect other countries in a domino effect. Some countries might actually benefit from the forced immigration that Trump would put in place for undocumented Mexican immigrants, but it would be a detriment to the United States’ economy.

 

Objective 2

The second objective I wanted to discuss in this paper is “geography plays a roles in the global economy, relations between nations and people”, but focusing more on the aspect of relations between nations and people. I wanted to bring in another article as well, one that I have already mentioned. This article was found on the CTV News website and it is titled “Trump win elicits fears, some cheers around the globe”. I have already mentioned this article in regards to the first objective, but there is another part of this same article that I want to touch on, and tie it into the second objective.

The new president-elect has made a few comments about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at first claiming that he admires Putin for being a strong leader. (Trump: Putin is a strong, tough and respected leader and he’s making Obama look bad, 2015) He then said during one of the presidential debates, completely contradicting his first statement, that he hasn’t or has never had any relations with Putin by simply saying “I don’t know Putin… I don’t deal [in Russia], I don’t do business there”. (Trump: I Don’t Know Putin, 2016) It wasn’t until after the elections that some of the truths came to light.

The CTV News article mentions that Putin sent Trump a congratulatory telegram following the release of the results of the election, and also expressed the hope that the relations between Russia and the US would be “put back on track”. This statement has led many people to believe that there could be an alliance forged between the United States of America and Russia soon, which could mean trouble for NATO allies. (Trump win elicits fears, some cheers around the globe, 2016)

First, it is important to clarify why an alliance between these two countries could be a potential issue. The North American Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance between many countries in Europe and in North America, where the members of this alliance agree to defend each other should one member be attacked by an external party. It is important to note that Russia is not part of the NATO agreement, and that the United States currently is. During his election campaign, Trump has expressed that he “might not come to the rescue of a NATO ally if it had not fulfilled to its obligation to make payments”. (Donald Trump’s US election victory ‘could put future of Nato AT RISK’, 2016) This has put a bit of tension between the US and the European countries involved in the NATO alliance, and has created a bit of anxiety in Europe. This statement in itself has put the entire foundation of the NATO alliance under a lot of stress, especially at a time where Russia’s dominance and confrontational nature has started to affect some of the allied countries.

It is clear that the US is one of the strongest countries in the world in terms of military power, and the European countries involved in the NATO alliance need the US’s strength and need to be able to depend on them if there were to be an attack on one of its countries from an external country. The fact that Trump seems to have cozied up to Putin quite a bit, by complimenting him and in turn receiving praise from the Russian President, this could eventually lead to an alliance between the two countries. If the United States leaves the NATO alliance in favour of an closer relationship with Russia, it would leave the doors wide open for Russia to do as it pleases without any intervention from the US, thus creating a huge topic of concern for the bordering European countries.

Other relations with the US that could be jeopardized are the ones with Canada. President-elect Trump has expressed his opinions on not only putting a wall between the US and Mexico, but also putting one up between the US and Canada, which Canada would be paying for. He claims that Canada has problems with heroin and drugs, and assuming that’s what he wants to keep out of the US (as if drugs aren’t a problem in the US already), he plans on building another wall to separate the US and Canada. (Donald Trump wants to build a wall with Canada in 2016, 2016)

Prime Minister Trudeau has commented on Trump’s opinions and policies concerning Canada. He has said that it is not wise for someone in his position to engage in conversation regarding another country’s electoral processes. He also said that it is important for Canada, specifically jobs and prosperity of the country, to have good relations with the US, regardless of who becomes the new President. “However, I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric. […] I think Canada, and indeed any modern society, does best when we understand that diversity is a source of strength, not a source of weakness; that the elements on which we are similar are always far greater than the elements on which we are diverse and if we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer,” said the Prime Minister in an interview in Maclean’s Town Hall. (PM Justin Trudeau on Donald Trump’s “politics of division”, 2015)

By this statement alone, we can see that our Prime Minister does not agree with Donald Trump’s policies, and that tension between the two countries in question will surely rise if the President-elect goes through with his policies.

To get a little more specific and to relate it to what’s already going on in Canada, I want to touch on how this is affecting the people around me and my relations with them. I wanted to leave opinions out of this paper, but it is so hard to talk about such a controversial topic without expression one’s opinion, so I felt this might be the best time to present it. I feel as most people feel about this election; I am disappointed in the results, but not surprised. I did not want Trump to win, and I don’t know very many people who did. But I did encounter a few people who said they were happy that Trump won, and regardless of their arguments as to why they thought that way, it naturally put a rift between them and myself. In my opinion, and as Prime Minister Trudeau said in his interview, electoral processes of other countries should not affect us, but because the United States is so close and our countries are dependent on each other, it inevitably affects us, and much more than some people realize.

In essence, the outcome of the elections has put a lot of tension on relations between the US and other countries, but has also put a lot of strain on friendships and relations between people within the same country.

 

Objective 3

The final objective I want to address is “current events impact travel choices and reasons” and I also want to briefly touch on the aspect of tourism. The article mentions the fact that relations between Cuba and the US will also be affected, because Trump has made a statement about reversing President Barack Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba.

A Cuban taxi driver was interviewed and he made a comment about tourism going down. Cuba receives about 160,000 American tourists per year, which is quite a substantial number of people coming into the country and contributing to the country’s tourism revenue. (Surge of Americans tests limits of Cuba’s tourism industry, 2016) If that were to stop due to Trump rolling back the normalization of relations, then surely the country would suffer and so would their tourism industry.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, both articles that I have used as “jumping off points”,“Canada Receives Over 10 Million US Immigrant Applications” and “Trump win elicits fears, some cheers around the globe”, are easily relatable to the course Geography in Tourism and Business in many different ways.They relate specifically to how current complex issues being involved on an international scale, how geography plays a role in the global economy, relations between nations and people, as well as how current events impact travel choices, reasons, and tourism. We can easily see that the results of the election, even though Trump is only President-elect at the moment, have already had a huge impact globally. His policies and ideas will surely affect the economies of the US, Canada and other countries that have relations with the United States. We can anticipate a decline in tourism in Cuba, and most likely also in the US due to the results of this Presidential election. It would be interesting to see how these two articles, and the results of the election in general, would relate to other courses and to see what connections could be made there.

 

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