WHO IS IT GOING TO BE?
US ELECTION PREVIEW
After months of campaigning, the day has finally come for American citizens to go the polls and vote for the 45th President of the United States.
Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton will be hoping to become the first woman president while Donald Trump is aiming to defy the odds and take the White House for the Republican Party..
We spoke to Dr Vernon Pedersen, Head of the Department of International Studies at The American University of Sharjah, to get his view on the candidates.
If she wins, what will Hillary Clinton achieve in her first 40 days in office?
“She’d continue most of the Obama policies but I think she would be more aggressive internationally.
“Her husband certainly was when he was president and there’s no indication she is not completely supportive of that.
“It is one of the most dramatic American elections in a long time.”
If he wins, what will Donald Trump achieve in his first few weeks?
“If Trump wins I think he would immediately take action against China. He’s accused them of currency manipulation and there’s a very good chance that he would attempt to sanction the Chinese, which could trigger a trade war. “I also think he would try to get out of parts of the North American Free Trade Pact, to slow down movement across the Mexican border. That would take a bit longer because it would involve Congress, but one assumes if he’s in office that he’ll have a Republican Congress behind him. “I think he would also put our NATO allies on notice that he plans to require more support from them or he’ll withdraw from certain aspects of the treaty. “I also think he would give Vladimir Putin a completely free hand in Syria and disengage.”
What would each candidate do for the US defence policy in the region?
“A Clinton win would basically be a third term for President Obama. That said, I think that her instincts tend to be much more interventionist. “Trump wants to pull back into a fortress America, but he also is advocating a dramatic increase in defence spending. “He has let it be known on several occasions that if we have these really cool weapons systems, he’s not sure why we don’t use them. “Even though on the one hand he is quite isolationist, I can see him getting very aggressive with the Chinese in the South China Sea.”
How would the result affect US diplomatic relations?
“Hillary in office would pursue a fairly conservative policy shoring up our traditional allegiances and trying to be a more active player on the world scene than President Obama has been.
“You wouldn’t see any dramatic changes or shift away from traditional alliances.
“Donald Trump, I think, is completely unpredictable. I think he could blow-up a number of our regional alliances, not even really wanting to but just by accident.”
Would either candidate advocate for Palestinian statehood?
“I don’t think either one of them has Palestine as a major issue at all.
“Donald Trump has made it pretty clear that he is a pretty firm backer of Israel and so is Hillary, which is why it hasn’t been on the agenda much.”
RIVALS: Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump
EXPERTISE: Dr Vernon Pedersen