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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

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