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TRUMP’S PRESIDENCY: IMPLICATIONS ON NIGERIA AND THE WORLD

9 November 2016
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“Like Play Like Play” Trump is the Next President of the US

For many Non Supporters of Donald Trump in his bid to become the 45th President of the US, the title of this piece may closely echo their sentiments on the unfolding scenario of the United States of America swearing in Donald J Trump as the next President of United States.

Hollywood may not be prepared for a chart bursting title for a film that will capture the essence and context of Donald Trump as the next President of United States. I can hear religious and highly superstitious Nigerians say “God Forbid bad thing”. But Nollywood and the Alaba movie marketing egg heads may not honestly struggle with finding a chart bursting title. One title I honestly think captures the dramatic events that have surrounded Trumps emergence as the next occupier of the white House is “Like Play Like Play”.

For Nigerians familiar with Pidgin English, the meaning is not lost on them. It simply means an expression of disbelief when a dream that was thought impossible eventually became a reality. This expression is true for both Trump supporters and non-supporters alike. Whilst his die hard supporters may be chest thumping at the likely outcome of the elections in favour of their candidate, they will be candid to also express a pleasant surprise that against all odds, the next occupant of the White House is Donald J Trump and his famous or infamous family depending on which side of divide you sit. That is the coffee the world needs to smell and need to keep smelling. Donald J Trump of the Republican Party has been officially elected as the 45th President of the United States defeating Hilary Clinton of the Democratic Party. He polled 276 Electoral College votes as against Clinton’s 218 votes. But as Americans and Trump supporters jubilate across the world, it is necessary to quickly tell them that Trump is like an Onion, and the more you open him the more you want to cry. Americans and the rest of the world may not have fully prepared and understood what a Trump Presidency may look like, because it never really expected him to win any election conducted in any sane society going by the many controversies he courted. But alas, the most powerful man on earth is Mr. Donald J. Trump. God have mercy!

What does Trump Presidency mean for America and the rest of the World?

For Americans who believe the 2016 Presidential elections campaign in the United States was the most divisive in American history, they may be right because it was one that brought America close to the threshold of his destructive partisan past, in which America was divided across racial, generational, ideological, party affiliation, social status, immigrant and non-immigrant status.

For many Americans who dreaded the likely emergence of Donald J Trump as the next President of the United States, officially the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, their fears were understandably premised on the many policy defining statements made by Trump during his campaign which may portend grave prognosis for America as such statements if inferred as representing Trumps ideological values and direction has painted another picture of America different from the one that takes pride its rich culture of catholic values and elite position as the World’s Big Brother.

Trump’s Presidency the Prognosis for the Globe

Many of Trump’s policies are understandably anti Obama’s current policy direction. This policy analysis paper will not focus on all the policy areas that were elaborated on in detail by Mr. Trump during his campaign speeches or presentation of his policy manifesto. But emphasis will be laid on his Trade Policy, Immigration Policy, Health Care Policy, Economic Policy, Foreign Policy and Energy Policy which are the areas that will not only affect Americans but invariably also affect the rest of the globe.

Health Care

For Americans, the Obamacare program will be the first casualty of Trump emergence as the President of the US. His Policy position on Health Care was a major factor in his campaign speeches and one that struck a major chord with American Voters. Whilst this area may not have direct impact on non-Americans, Americans are surely going to be impacted by his policies in the health care sector. For the rest of the world, there will be massive impacts in America’s global health support funding. With an “America First” outlook as the signature of his policy direction to “Make America great again”, it should be expected that America’s contribution to global heath aids and funding of the reduction of the global disease burden will receive a drastic cut. This will impact on the operational and economic lots of International and local Non-Governmental Organizations across the globe. The era of free funding at least from America may be over and other Development Assistance Countries (DAC) across the globe may also follow suit. According to him, he will;

  1. Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  2. Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.
  3. Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.
  4. Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.
  5. Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens.(https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/health-care/)

The US Economy and the Rest of the World

The US economy is already reacting negatively to the emergence of Trump as the President of the USA (as evidenced by the slide in major economic and market indicators with the news of Trump’s lead in the Electoral College votes) But with forecast during the campaign showing that the business community and the markets favoured a Clinton Presidency as the best option to facilitate economic and business growth, and coupled with the massive support that Clinton received from Corporate America and billionaires like Warren Buffet, it is obvious that corporate America did not trust Trump to grow the American Economy as laid out in his plans. So the American economy is a likely candidate to be negatively impacted by the emergence of Trump as President. With a dominantly pro ”America First” approach in growing the economy and an unhidden bias for non-export of jobs from America to nations with comparative cost of labour advantage, the prognosis for America multinational companies growth strategy outside of America will be greatly challenged. Employees of multinationals or transnational companies outside of United States have a lot to worry about with a Trump Presidency. For the avoidance of doubt Trump’ promised to do the following to grow America’s economy; According to him, he will;

  1. Create a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.
  2. For each 1 percent in added GDP growth, the economy adds 1.2 million jobs. Increasing growth by 1.5 percent would result in 18 million jobs (1.5 million times 1.2 million, multiplied by 10 years) above the projected current law job figures of 7 million, producing a total of 25 million new jobs for the American economy.
  3. Reform policies with a pro-growth tax plan, a new modern regulatory framework, an America-First trade policy, an unleashed American energy plan, and the “penny plan.”
  4. Boost growth to 3.5 percent per year on average, with the potential to reach a 4 percent growth rate. (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/economy/)

To further boos American economy Trump had a list of regulations that seem to reinforce his ultra-extreme bias for growing American jobs at the expense of jobs outside of America in his policy statements on regulation. In these set of policy statements, he promised to;

  1. Ask all Department heads to submit a list of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs, and which does not improve public safety, and eliminate them.
  2. Reform the entire regulatory code to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America.
  3. End the radical regulations that force jobs out of our communities and inner cities. We will stop punishing Americans for working and doing business in the United States.
  4. Issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety in order to give our American companies the certainty they need to reinvest in our community, get cash off of the sidelines, start hiring again, and expanding businesses. We will no longer regulate our companies and our jobs out of existence.
  5. Cancel immediately all illegal and overreaching executive orders.
  6. Eliminate our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of The U.S. Rule. We will also scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year.
  7. Decrease the size of our already bloated government after a thorough agency review. (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/regulations/)

What all of these may mean for American companies in the United States and even Non American companies is the possibility of relocating their operations out rightly from the United States if they have plans of growing their organizations by creating jobs in other nations outside the US that offer comparatively more cost efficient operational profile. Nations who have improved their ease of doing business indicators or can offer favorable policy incentives to such businesses may be the beneficiaries of what is expected to be significant relocation of business interests that institutionally did not support the Trump candidacy to other favorable business climes outside the US.

International Trade and Agreements

America’s trade Agreements with the rest of the world will be under massive threat. A Trump Presidency will impact the global trade order. Multilateral Trade Agreements like Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) are obviously likely candidates for revision or outright cancellation. This will have serious impact on exports of products to the United States and direct impact on the economy of nations like Mexico and the African continent that depend on export revenues from the United States. Trump was particularly harsh on the current trade Agreements that United States have with other nations and he specifically zeroed in on the NAFTA as being unfair to the United States. This was the same sentiment that he expressed with all other trade agreements. Mexico is not going to be the only country to be at the receiving end of Mr. Trump’s trade policy direction. A lot of negative trade policy vitriol awaits China, with Trump’s Presidency. I have highlighted below trade policy statements and promises made by Mr. Trump during his electioneering campaign earlier in the year. Quoting Trump, he promised to;

  1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.
  2. Appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.
  3. Direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
  4. Tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.
  5. Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.
  6. Instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.
  7. Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets – including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade)

Nations with massive export trade relations with the United States will need to start thinking about new trading partners.

Immigration

For Immigrants in the United States, perilous days may lie ahead especially if they are illegal immigrants going by the promises made by Mr. Trump during his campaign. Mexico, Mexicans, Latinos, Muslim Arabs and Nigerians seem to have attracted the ire of Mr. Trump in his vision of making America great again and restoring American jobs to Americans. Officially on his campaign web site, he listed the following as the policies he will superintend to redefine the United State Immigration System. According to him, he will ;

  1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.
  2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.
  3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.
  4. End sanctuary cities.
  5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.
  6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.
  7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
  8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air, and sea ports.
  9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.
  10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms. (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/immigration/)

If his threat or promise as the case may be to form a deportation squad is taken seriously, many immigrants are soon going to be on their way to their home countries. Nations with massive diaspora population in the United States may have to start preparing for massive influx of deported nationals and also repatriates who may desire to relocate from the United States based on the fear of what a Trump Presidency may portend for an immigrant or person of colour. This will have massive impact on direct inflows of foreign exchange into many nations and Governments across the globe who have a fair share of their population in the US should start planning for the likely relocation of their citizens back home and absorption/onboarding of these repatriates into their local economy. Smart thinking Governments with such prospects will incorporate agencies to focus on diaspora physical relocation/investment repatriation. Such agencies will also explore the opportunities of attracting African Americans of colour who may be wishing to relocate from the United States. Lagos State particularly should be targeting these categories of people with the Lagos Atlantic Project where they can truly build their American dreams afresh in Africa. The good news with Trump’s promise to clamp down on illegal immigration and immigrants in addition to his high unpopularity rating with African Americans is that it will open up the prospect of many of them exploring the investment opportunities in Africa. The question is whether Africa and Nigeria will be ready to also seize these opportunities when they emerge or proactively create them.

Energy

Trump‘s policy plan for energy has been patterned around the same consistent theme of “ “America First” and “Make America great Again”

His vision-Policy statements are strongly worded in favour of absolute jettisoning of the existing order in the global energy sector and a radical embrace of the Trump way. According to him, he will;

  1. Make America energy independent, create millions of new jobs, and protect clean air and clean water. We will conserve our natural habitats, reserves and resources. We will unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country.
  2. Declare American energy dominance a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.
  3. Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.
  4. Become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.
  5. Open onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits.
  6. Encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.
  7. Rescind all job-destroying Obama executive actions. Mr. Trump will reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production, creating at least a half million jobs a year, $30 billion in higher wages, and cheaper energy. (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/energy/)

Cartels like OPEC and OPEC member nations like Nigeria should naturally be interested in what the likely outcomes of a Presidency of Trump will have on their mono-oil product driven economy. And Trump is bad news for Nigeria’s ailing mono oil driven economy, as he will obviously pursue policies that will further neutralize the impact of OPEC, permanently drive south the prices of crude oil and promote America’s shale oil and oil products across the globe. For countries like Venezuela and Nigeria who have not successfully diversified their economies and weaned their national revenues from oil, the next 4 years will be a bumpy one economically. Such countries may want to focus on points 3 and 4. The prognosis for Oil producing countries that depend on oil primary products for their economic sustenance going by the choice of phrases used in points 3 and 4 is scary. Nigeria will need to accelerate its alternative economic development plan and integrate Non-Oil export into its mainstream economic development agenda. I am aware of the existence of the Zero Oil plan strategy developed by the Nigerian export promotion council and the Nigerian Government hopefully will become more strategic in adapting it as a master plan and agenda for the sustainable economic development of Nigeria.

Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS

Trump’s policy rhetoric again have been consistent with his campaign ideological thrust; “America First and Make America great again”, Military leaders and policy makers around the world that may not have paid attention to Trump may quickly need to start evaluating the likely prognosis and policy outcomes that may be confronted with in the tenure of a Trump presidency. To understand his thinking, it will be useful to look at his vision and action plan in this regard. According to him, he will;

  1. Work with our Arab allies and friends in the Middle East in the fight against ISIS.
  2. Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expand intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting.
  3. Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War.
  4. Establish new screening procedures and enforce our immigration laws to keep terrorists out of the United States.
  5. Suspend, on a temporary basis, immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.
  6. Establish a Commission on Radical Islam to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.

It should be expected that a Trump Presidency will herald America’s Armed Forces into direct armed conflicts across the globe. Many American troops will be deployed into theaters of war across the globe that fits into Trump’s policy and philosophy of defeating what he calls “radical Islam and states.

His unconventional romance with Putin may not last as America’s sovereign interests in not too distant future will fundamentally clash with Putin’s Russia. It is also highly envisaged that Trump’s hardline posture and tough cowboy stance reminiscent of the “wild wild cowboy west” may bring the world closer to an Armageddon as his easily provoked temperament may negatively impact America’s relationship with Iran, North Korea, China and even Saudi Arabia, if his position on potential issues of conflicts between America and these states are put into consideration. His preference for all nations to have their own nuclear capability as a deterrent to the use of nuclear weapons is also worrisome for world peace. Finally, we should expect a very frosty relation between the United States and Philippines. It may not be surprising if the US repeats “a Noriega” type abduction in the Philippines going by the uncharitable exchange of words between the United States and President Duertete. If Trumps consistent rallying cry of “Make America Great Again” is used as the context in anticipating his policy response to Duertete, then we may see a rehash in the Philippines of the Noriega abduction from Panama as Trump had also always insisted that Obama was not well respected by other leaders and nations.

His plan to stop certain people from nations he described as sponsors of terror and nations who export terrorists will likely affect visa regulations to the United States. One wonders where he places Nigeria in the light of our Boko Haram challenges and the implications of Nigerians in terrorist plots in the past in the UK and the US. Visa regulations into the US may become more stringent.

These are some of key highlights of Trumps campaign promises with Global Policy implications. They are not exhaustive but meant to provoke right thinking leaders across the globe and especially in Nigeria to start to analyse further and plan for the eventual outcomes of an “unexpected but now turned into reality” Trump’s Presidency.

On the lighter note, America will have to live with a President who is paranoid and shoots off the cuff, one can be baited with a tweets to order for the use of a nuclear weapon and also a first lady whose naked pictures once graced the covers of a magazine. Also the America first family will consist of the entire famous Trump clan. America voted for Trump and him with all his baggage they will get.

For Mr. Bill Clinton, he may need to start preparing to take beans to Hilary in prison, if Trump’s threat of jailing Hillary (by asking the Attorney General to re-open her e-mail case and the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi) if elected President is carried out.

For the African American man and woman, boy and girl, there may not be a respite in the nearest future for the unprovoked killings of African Americans in the US by law enforcement Agents. A consistent trend that ran through Trump’s campaign was his white uneducated supporter’s morbid disdain and hatred for other races. That unfortunately may continue and escalate into many more killings and racially motivated violence in the United State.

For the Nigerian immigrant and the African American, it may be time to start seriously thinking of coming back to Motherland Africa. The highbrow areas of Ikoyi, Lekki and the Lagos Atlantic are waiting for your investments.

For the rest of us professionals we are waiting for all the “relocates and repatriates” who will need our professional services. Your dollars and forex are highly welcomed!

 

Dr.Olayiwola Oladapo is the Managing partner of Sweat Your Asset Derivative Limited. He can be contacted at olayi72@gmail.com.