Election Reactions: The World

By Jessie Walker

Wednesday morning the world responded in shock, quickly followed by congratulations, when presidential candidate, Donald Trump, was officially declared President-elect.

Concern abounded among various heads of state because of President-elect Trump’s different approach to international relations.  Generally speaking, the heads of multiple countries have responded tentatively to Trump’s election as they face uncertainty over how things will play out.  Trump’s policy on international relations has reflected a theme of reversal.  Some of the big ideas he discussed on the campaign trail include reforming relations with China, which would mean, by his definition, designating the nation as a currency manipulator.  He also wishes to get rid of Obama’s immigration policies and promised to put pressure on NATO allies.  In a statement he released Wednesday after being declared victor, President-elect Trump reiterated his wishes for US-World relations.  “We will get along with all nations willing to get along with us,” he said.

Russia was one of the more enthusiastic supporters of President-elect Trump’s victory.  The two leaders, President-elect Trump and President Vladimir Putin, have expressed mutual admiration of each other.  President Putin conveyed his hope that President-elect Trump will be able to improve US-Russia relations, which are currently in a state of crisis.  President Putin stated that he has “confidence… (in) building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington that is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting (of) each other’s positions, in the interests of our peoples and the world community.”

Mexico was also quick to respond, although with a very ambiguous statement of congratulations.  Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto did not directly congratulate Trump, but simply stated his appreciation for the US election process.  He released a statement, saying that he was “in favor of the bilateral relationship,”  and hopes that the United States and Mexico can stay on friendly terms.  President-elect Trump greatly alarmed Mexican officials when, early in his campaign, he described Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists.  Additionally, following the election results, the peso dropped dramatically in value because of President-elect Trump’s denunciation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that has greatly helped support the Mexican economy.  Naturally, Mexico will be cautiously approaching the next few months.

The news of the election results on Wednesday hit the country of Cuba the hardest.  After 50 years of Cold War hostility lingering between the two countries, the last 2 years has seen a return to negotiated normality.  President-elect Trump promised to completely reverse the Obama administration’s decision of normalization unless President Raul Castro agrees to more political freedom  for the nation of Cuba.  If President-elect Trump does depart from the previous administration’s negotiations, Cuba’s economy could take a huge turn for the worse, as recent normalization policies have greatly increased Cuba’s tourism industry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also congratulated President-elect Trump, although he acknowledged Trump’s statement of frustration with the Chinese government.  President Jinping said that he wishes to solve US-Chinese relations in a “constructive” way, one that completely avoids a conflict.  The world awaits to see how President-elect Trump will respond to President Jinping’s offer.

An Iranian foreign minister exhorted President-elect Trump to adhere to international accords reached by previous American administrations.  President-elect Trump was vocal in his opposition to the Obama administration’s deal with Iran to help postpone nuclear weapon construction for the next decade.  Opponents of the deal, including President-elect Trump, have stated that the deal only served to postpone the inevitable.  Iranian leaders said that, despite President-elect Trump’s stance on the matter, they would continue to follow a policy that reflected the values of their people and would not be swayed by new leadership.

France’s President Francois Hollande was the most anxious about the election results, stating that the appointment of Trump as president “opens a period of uncertainty” .  His was the least enthusiastic response of any nation, although other members of political influence in France were more encouraged.  French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen openly congratulated President-elect Trump on his win.  President-elect Trump and Le Pen have expressed very similar anti-immigration policies, which has formed a mutual respect.

United Nations officials also approached the future cautiously.  While the Secretary-General congratulated President-elect Trump on his win, he stated that “In the aftermath of a hard-fought and often divisive campaign, it is worth recalling and reaffirming that the unity in diversity of the United States is one of the country’s greatest strengths.  I encourage all Americans to stay true to that spirit.”   UN officials have reason for concern, as Trump could potentially shake relations worldwide.




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