Trump not the end

Em­bassy of­fi­cial ex­pects US-Ja­maica re­la­tion­ship to re­main strong

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - An­dré Poyser Staff Re­porter

COUN­SEL­LOR OF Po­lit­i­cal and Eco­nomic Af­fairs at the United States Em­bassy in Ja­maica Chris­tian Red­mer has moved to al­lay fears about the as­cen­dancy of Don­ald Trump to the Of­fice of Pres­i­dent of the United States.

“This is the 45th ad­min­is­tra­tion the United States has had, and we have had all types. No one knows for sure what the fu­ture will bring, and I say that with com­plete can­dour, how­ever, I would re­mind you that we do have a strong and en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries,” he said while speak­ing at a postUS elec­tion Gleaner Edi­tors’ Fo­rum.

While not­ing that the United States was one of the first coun­tries to recog­nise Ja­maica as an in­de­pen­dent na­tion, Red­mer ar­gued that the sev­eral ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries are ex­pected to be main­tained even with the change of ad­min­is­tra­tion in the United States.

“We share many of the same val­ues, in­clud­ing a strong his­toric com­mit­ment to democ­racy and pro­mo­tion of democ­racy in our hemi­sphere, which binds us to­gether,” he added.

Don­ald Trump pulled off one of the

most stun­ning vic­to­ries in US elec­tion his­tory on Tues­day, and the As­so­ci­ated Press (AP) re­ported yes­ter­day that world lead­ers were strug­gling to come to grips with the fact that he will be the next pres­i­dent of the United States. AP said, too, that there was anx­i­ety in Europe among NATO al­lies.

“When Trump takes of­fice in Jan­uary, world lead­ers will con­front a man whose stated views rep­re­sent a sharp break with US for­eign pol­icy or­tho­doxy. He has co­zied up to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, warned stunned NATO al­lies they will have to pay for their own pro­tec­tion, floated a ban on Mus­lims en­ter­ing the US, and vowed to make the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment fi­nance a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar bor­der wall,” the AP ar­ti­cle said.

But while de­clin­ing to pre­dict any pos­si­ble pol­icy changes, par­tic­u­larly as it re­lates to se­cu­rity and im­mi­gra­tion as­sis­tance that the US pro­vides to Ja­maica, the em­bassy of­fi­cial at The Gleaner fo­rum ex­pressed con­fi­dence that the long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Ja­maica and the US would con­tinue to be a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor in fu­ture re­la­tions.

“We have a very strong shared in­ter­est in pros­per­ity, and, I think, more than any­thing else that will align our poli­cies as they are de­vel­oped and that will help to en­sure the continuity of our re­la­tion­ship no mat­ter what the spe­cific poli­cies may bring,” he said.

Red­mer also sur­mised that it re­mains to be seen whether spe­cific poli­cies will change, point­ing out that it will be very dif­fi­cult for even Pres­i­dent Elect Trump to do so at this very early stage of his tran­si­tion to the high­est po­lit­i­cal of­fice in the world’s most pow­er­ful democ­racy.

Ac­cord­ing to Red­mer, there is ev­ery rea­son to ex­pect strong and ro­bust col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Ja­maica and the United States as “there are so many things that bind our two coun­tries to­gether that are deep and sys­temic”.

“Shared pros­per­ity is something that is of high pri­or­ity for the United States. We have com­mit­ted pub­licly here at the mis­sion to sup­port­ing, US in­vest­ment in Ja­maica and we are over a bil­lion dol­lars now, and so that is cer­tainly something that is deep and en­trenched ... the US and Ja­maica, have a deep and en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship, and that has re­mained the case dur­ing dif­fer­ent ad­min­is­tra­tions,” he said.

HOL­NESS, SIMPSON MILLER CON­GRAT­U­LATE TRUMP

Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness has ex­tended to Trump his con­grat­u­la­tions on be­half of the Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Ja­maica.

He com­mu­ni­cated the great value placed by Ja­maica on the long-stand­ing friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion, “which has shaped our bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship with the United States for more than 50 years”. Hol­ness em­pha­sised his in­ten­tion to build on ex­ist­ing ini­tia­tives, to ex­plore new op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as his de­sire to strengthen US-Caribbean and Ja­maican re­la­tions.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Por­tia Simpson Miller also con­grat­u­lated Trump. She said the United States was a strong democ­racy and his vic­tory was was an ex­pres­sion of the con­fi­dence of Amer­i­cans in his abil­ity to push for the changes in Washington that many have ad­vo­cated for over the years.

DON­ALD TRUMP

RED­MER

NOR­MAN GRINDLEY/CHIEF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Work­ers at the Elec­toral Of­fice of Ja­maica in Kingston putting boxes of old bal­lot pa­pers on to a truck to be de­stroyed yes­ter­day.

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