Knife-edge White House race creates geopolitical uncertainty

With the result of the 2020 US Presidential election set to take several days to confirm, as both candidates claim victory, a win for either side will have radically different impacts at home and abroad.

With the result now likely to hinge on three key states, all of which have been deemed to be “too close to call”, both President Donald Trump and former Democrat Vice President Joe Biden are claiming victory.

There is a looming row over the counting of postal votes as 100 million Americans chose to vote remotely in the face of the COVID pandemic, with President Trump alleging the system is open to fraud. That claim has been refuted by the Democrats who say they have teams of lawyers waiting to resist any legal challenge.

However, when the votes are finally tallied and the result is declared, both at home and across the world the differences in the potential policies of both will mean the geopolitical and climate change maps will be redrawn whoever occupies the Oval Office.

Should President Trump win a second and final term in office, many political analysts believe he will pursue a more aggressive and protectionist agenda for the US. Today also sees the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Climate Accord, a decision taken by President Trump early in his first term in office as he seeks to protect the US oil and gas industry.

Vice President Biden is highly likely to take a more proactive stance on the country’s role in leading the fight against climate change and a return to the Paris Accord could not be ruled out. Vice President Biden has said he would halt the use of fracking to access gas reserves, but the powerful energy lobby may well see any efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions have a tough fight through Congress.

Europe and the UK are also areas where the two candidates have hugely different approaches.

President Trump has been a long and vocal critic of the European Union and has intimated that a free trade deal with a post Brexit UK would be high on his second term agenda, although there remain concerns in the UK over the terms that any such deal would entail.

Vice President Biden on the other hand is proud of his Irish roots and it is said that his first overseas trip should he win the presidency will be to the Republic of Ireland from where his mother’s family emigrated.  He has been as vocal a critic of Brexit as his rival has been of the EU and he has repeatedly said that he would take a dim view of any Brexit which impacted the Good Friday Agreement and saw a physical border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Should he win the race experts say his trade deal priorities will be focused on Asia, and then potentially the European Union with a newly independent UK a long way towards the back of the queue.

Once again, the pollsters who predicted a Vice President Biden landslide have been proved wide of the mark and it is now a case of many refusing to put a name to the winner.

However, if history is anything to go by then the voters in one state have an uncanny knack of backing the successful candidate.

Ohio has voted in the President in every election since 1960 and this year the state is predicted to go to ……… President Trump.

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