In 2016, everyone was surprised by Trump being elected as President of the United States. This victory wasn’t anticipated by many foreign diplomats, and to prevent being caught off-guard, foreign diplomats are getting ready for Trump’s reelection.
Many foreign diplomats are predicting the reelection of President Trump, albeit not talking much about it. Many point out that there is no candidate who is strong enough to challenge him, and because of the fact that the U.S. economy is faring better than many times, his achievements cannot be overlooked.
So does Trump really have a chance at reelection? First, let’s take a look at the support he is receiving. He still has much support from the rust belt and from white Americans that lack a college degree. During his presidency, unemployment rates fell from around 5% to 3.5 %, an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy that provides strong support from blue-collar workers and people in poverty. His recent approval rating shows that he is at 43.8 %, not too far away from the 46.1% that he received on Election Day 2016. Support for Trump for the rust belt and the people in poverty seems solid as of now.
However, one major disadvantage Trump may have in the upcoming election is an economic recession. As of now, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter are the only presidents to have run during times of economic recession. Due to the majority of President Trump’s campaign in 2016 is based on how he will bring economic prosperity, voters may turn on him if the election is in the midst of an economic recession. He will have to find alternative issues to tackle and draw voter support from.
The reason for people anticipating an economic recession is because of the massive impacts the U.S.-China Trade will soon bring. Trump is constantly pressuring companies in the United States to find alternatives to Chinese-made goods and raw material from China. Tariff rates for Chinese-made goods were also raised, which lead to the manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) becoming 49.9, which was below the line considered neutral. The purpose of PMI is to determine the current state of the United States economy. This leads many to think that the U.S. economy is certainly slowing down due to the record low manufacturer growth in the past 10 years.
Every embassy, an Asian diplomat says, is working “on the basis that the president has more than an even chance at being reelected.”
As the 2020 elections are approaching, many diplomats and embassies are accordingly shaping their strategies and policies to fit the assumption that Trump will get reelected, which according to them, he probably will.