Newcastle University Business School

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US Election: Comment and analysis

Following the result of the US election, our experts give their views on the US election and what Trump’s win means.

Newcastle University Business School experts give their views on the US election

Stephen Hughes - Professor of International Organisations at Newcastle University Business School

"There is considerable uncertainty over the future direction of US foreign policy and its support for global trade.

"The US, economically and politically, has underwritten the development of global trade since the end of Second World War. It has demonstrated its economic strength by promoting its value to the development of other economies – European, Asian, South American factories export to American markets

"Placing 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, rejecting and renegotiating trade deals as Trump as threatened, will not create jobs for the millions of American workers who voted for him, it will simply push the world into a recession. The deep anger and pessimism that gave rise to Trump and Brexit may becoming entrenched rather than addressed

"The nationalist rhetoric of Trump could start a tariff war and threaten the functioning and stability of global markets and deepen the stagnation in global demand. The rust belt of Midwest USA who voted for Trump will simply continue to rust

"The shadow of the 1930’s is more apparent now than it was in 2008 when the global institutions that the US helped set up and support, and is now in danger of rejecting, helped pull the world back from the brink of depression. They appear to be back at the brink."

The Left has failed
Dr Sara Maioli, Lecturer in Economics at Newcastle University Business School:

"I am not surprised about Trump's victory, if anything the shock result of the Brexit referendum taught me something. The UK and the US have something in common: they are both countries were the principles of neoliberalism have been applied most strongly.

"This is a result that has been built over the last few decades. Behind the facade of economic growth that both countries enjoyed for years, the establishment ruling these countries have not noticed all those who were remaining behind. Or if they noticed, they just applied the same laissez-faire principle that economic growth would have ultimately taken care of them by itself. But when the squeeze started to bite the middle class, the tide of discontent has started to rise.

"Today's result is also the final declaration that the Left has failed big time. A failure due to being out of touch with the working class, which lost its political representation. This is an effect of neoliberalism too: the shift of the Left towards traditionally right-wing policies. Globalisation and technological progress are all the big culprits that we keep hearing about.

"But what about the failure of politics, the lack of serious industrial policies, the financialisation of the economies (helped by central banks) to the detriment of productive investment, the lack of adequate fiscal policy responses on one side to protect the losers and on the other to reduce the staggering inequality? Probably inequality is something that we should all pay more attention to. It is still not debated enough.

"Propping up private debts to keep consumption going will lead to the next crisis, as many economists expect. We are running out of time. Next year we will probably see the same shocking result in France with Marine Le Pen winning the elections.

"So, today is a dramatic warning to the EU too: either the European establishment quickly learn the lessons or they will be bound to follow the same wiping out as in the US."

published on: 10 November 2016