International nations and leaders react to presidential election

November 8, 2016

The candidate that succeeds President Barack Obama in the presidency will also succeed the authority to control America’s international relations with key nations the U.S. is involved with.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump differ in terms of which countries have preexisting relationships with these individuals and which nations have been previously associated with these candidates.

Clinton’s experience as Secretary of State has given her an opportunity to interact with many nations. She dealt with Middle Eastern nations such as Iraq, Iran and Syria as she was in office during the Arab Spring protests in 2011, the making of the Iran nuclear deal and the placement and withdrawal of troops in nations such as Iraq.

“When you look at Clinton, since she served as Secretary of State, she already has a pre-existing relationship with most countries around the world,” AP U.S. Politics and Government teacher Carol Green said. “Most countries already recognize her, most of them are comfortable with her and in most places she has a considerable fanbase. I think you end up having positive relations or at least stable relations.”

However, not all of Clinton’s implemented policies and actions as Secretary of State have been favorable in the eyes of U.S. citizens.

“There wasn’t much that was done well with Clinton as Secretary in terms of foreign relations, especially the Middle East, North Korea [and] Iran,” Robert Varich, vice chair of the the executive committee of the Santa Clara Republican party, said. “Nothing went right, and I’m not saying that from a perspective of the conservative side, I’m saying why did we give so many billions to Iran, why did we trade money for hostages?”

Certain world leaders have shown support for Clinton, including current president Obama.

“She doesn’t just talk the talk she walks the walk. She’s got plans and she’s got details. And she’s read them through and she’s thought them through,” Obama said during a speech at the University of Central Florida.

Meanwhile, Trump has emphasized the tightening of American borders in order to make it a safer country and has proposed future policies to include a wall between the United States and Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.

“With Trump, I think we saw a little of [his proposed policies] when he talked to Mexico; he came and said the meeting with the president of Mexico was a good meeting, and the Mexican president said it was a good meeting,” Varich said. “When they got further away, he said they were paying for the wall, so we’re probably going to have some growing problems.”

World leaders have publicly expressed their opinions on the Republican candidate. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau opposes Trump’s notion of the border wall between America and Mexico.

“Ultimately, being open and respectful towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse hatred and anger than, you know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies,” Trudeau said in an interview for “60 minutes” with Lara Logan.

Citizens and leaders from areas such as the United Kingdom and the Middle East have expressed similar views about Trump.

In contrast, Russian president Vladimir Putin has maintained a friendly relationship with Trump, though officials in Moscow have been cautious about overtly voicing support for him. Additionally, Trump has garnered a significant amount of support in China. 

In terms of international trade, Trump has made several statements against current trade agreements, and he plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) and to renegotiate terms with countries in the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to ensure better trade deals for the U.S.

Meanwhile, Clinton has favored a multilateral trade agreement. However, she withdrew support for the TPP, stating that the agreement did not meet her expectations for a trade agreement.

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