David Jessop:Economic Implications Of A Trump Presidency For The Caribbean

The economic impact on the Caribbean of a Donald Trump administration could be problematic. David Jessop, a consultant to the Caribbean Council, has identified five possible economic implications on the region. They are:

1: Abandoning Existing Trade Deals

Donald Trump has said that he will abandon existing trade deals. If he is genuinely intent on doing this, it is not hard to see his administration making demands for access for US goods and services on the basis of reciprocity, says Jessop. It is also possible that tax penalties would be levied on those US manufacturers who have off-shored their manufacturing or assembly plants into locations like the Caribbean to take advantage of a more favorable tax environment.

2: Picking Up The Cost Of Its Own Security.

Trump may require the Caribbean to fully meet the costs of its own security; for example, guaranteeing the safety of US visitors, Jessop says especially given China’s growing and central role in investment to access the US market in manufacturing and services in the Caribbean region.

3: Tearing Up Of The Ratified Global Agreement On Climate Change

If true to his word, Jessop says, Trump could within days of taking office use executive action to tear up the recently ratified global agreement on climate change, a text of existential importance to the Caribbean. This will be a decision that will require the region to react.

4: Transactional Relationship With Cuba.

Trump has made it clear, in Cuba’s case, that he would want a transactional relationship. He intends, he said, to “make it rough …. until a really good deal can be made for the Cuban people and for the United States.”

“We have to make a deal that’s good for the Cuban people and I would make sure that the deal is either made, or I’d have nothing to do with them,” he told a Miami radio station just a few days before being elected. It is a proposition Havana is unlikely to respond well to, says Jessop.

5: Pitting The Rest Of The Hemisphere Against The US

Hemispheric groupings like the Organization of American States (OAS) or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to have to take a position against Trump’s strong authoritarian leadership stance, potentially pitting the rest of the hemisphere against the US.

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