By Julio Cesar Rivas, Rosa Jimenez and Jesus Centeno
Toronto/Brussels/Beijing, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- The consensus in North America, Asia and Europe is that after four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the decline of the United States is unstoppable, that four more years of the erratic and irascible Republican in the White House will accelerate the trend and that a victory by Joe Biden in the Nov. presidential vote will not be able to return things to their state before 2016.
More than ever in history, the entire world has the US election fixed in its sights, and for good reason: history, Trump’s reelection or a Biden win all will result in significant changes that will have fundamentally different effects worldwide.
Perhaps the most longlasting consequence will be in the realm of geopolitics, currently dominated by the growing rivalry between the US and China, a confrontation that the European Union, Russia and the rest of the world have viewed as spectators over the past four years without much ability to affect events.
In talks with EFE, international relations experts in Asia, Europe and North America agreed that after four years of Trump at the US helm, the world scenario and the balance of forces has changed irreversibly.
And the clock cannot be turned back much, no matter what happens at the polls on Nov. 3. But there will be certain differences depending on the election result.
In North America and Europe, a second Trump term – they say – would be a disaster with unimaginable consequences.
In China, a victory by the unpredictable business mogul who injected himself into politics would not be seen so negatively by the Communist Party leadership, which would interpret it in Napoleonic terms: When your enemy makes a bad move, it’s best not to stop him.
“A second Trump term would result in China and Russia gaining strength and containing these two countries will be more difficult,” Jack Cunningham, the history director and program coordinator for the Bill Graham Center for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto, told EFE.
Cunningham has no doubts about it. Everything bad about the Trump presidency from the international point of view, and the list is as long as that of his personal failings, would worsen in a second term, although it would be for one simple reason: “He wouldn’t have to worry about winning reelection. There would be nothing to moderate him.”
The history expert is not alone in his prediction. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, David O’Sullivan, an advisor at the European Policy Center based in Brussels, told EFE that Trump’s reelection “would create a big crisis in trans-Atlantic relations and also in multilateralism.”
O’Sullivan said that those who will suffer most during a second Trump term will not be the main US adversaries (China and Russia) but rather Europe.
“Clearly he doesn’t believe in multilateralism. We would be in a much more transactional world in which the influence of the most powerful and biggest bullies would prevail. That would require significant adjustments on the European side,” he said.
Not only Europe would suffer hardships with a Trump on steroids after a reelection victory. The great majority of other countries that need a framework of international stability to prosper would wind up losers.
Drew Fagan, a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Toronto, said that Trump’s style of international relations, which he summarized as “undermining the global architecture and confronting friends while flirting with traditional US adversaries, has shaken the rest of the world.”
“Who knows what a second Trump mandate would mean,” the Canadian expert said with concern.
One of the principal victims of a Trump reelection would be a key institution for Europe, NATO.
Jacob Kirkegaard, a fellow specializing in the US with the German Marshall Fund, told EFE that “if Trump is reelected, it’s important to understand that that means the US is a fundamentally different country that probably would leave NATO.”
“Or at least NATO would be irrelevant because Trump is not a person who would honor to any significant degree Article 5,” he added, referring to the commitment of members of the military alliance to aid other members if they are attacked.
Cunningham agreed with Kirkegaard that NATO “would suffer a real crisis” with four more years of the multimillionaire holding the reins of power in the US.