January 18, 2019

Donald Trump's “Equator”

The Beginning of the US Election Campaign and Its Consequences

 

January 2019 marks exactly two years since D. Trump's official becoming US President. In fact, this is the “equator” of his presidential term, which is usually the peak of the activities of the Master of the White House and the start of preparations for the new election (scheduled for 2020).

However, unlike most other US Presidents, D. Trump's “equator” coincided with a significant complication of the political situation in the United States, which is turning into a rigid confrontation between the two branches of power in the country. An example of this was the so-called “shutdown” — D. Trump's next termination of work of the US government (since December 22, 2018), which has become the longest in the American history.

As you know, the reason for this was the Democratic Party of the United States' blocking of the process of approving by the Congress of the government's expenditures because of disagreement with D. Trump's migration policy. In particular, Democrats agree to meet the US President's request to allocate 5.7 billion US dollars for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico only in case of legislative protection of the rights of migrants.

 

At the same time, the real reasons for the exacerbation of political problems in the United States are rooted much deeper and are related to the intensification of the struggle against D. Trump of both, his political opponents from the Democratic Party and business competitors. In fact, such a struggle began immediately after the election of D. Trump as the President of the United States and is gaining momentum. In order to undermine D. Trump's position, the most contradictory aspects of his policy are used, which cause a negative resonance in the American society, or at least in a part of it.

D. Trump's any step towards Moscow becomes subject to sharp criticism
D. Trump's any step towards Moscow
becomes subject to sharp criticism

First of all, this relates to D. Trump's “flirting” with Russia, deterioration of relations with NATO allies, toughening of the migration policy, and social sector reforms. In particular, in the given context, the most illustrative is the case of D. Trump's former campaign director — P. Manafort, who has been accused of treason in favor of Russia. Against this background, D. Trump's any step towards Moscow or away from NATO becomes subject to sharp criticism at the level of the US Congress, the public and the US media.

A similar role is also given to migration problems in the United States. Thus, since the beginning of 2018, the Democratic Party three times (including the latest case — in December 2018), has blocked the work of the US Congress in the budget sphere actually provoking D. Trump to announce “shutdowns”. In turn, such decisions by the President of the United States have led to significant financial damage to the American economy (according to different estimates, up to 2 billion US dollars a week), as well as to civil servants (in total, up to 800 thousand people) who were forced to stop work.

As a result, it already had a negative impact on D. Trump's rating. According to the results of sociological surveys in January 2018, the US President's policy is condemned by 56 % of respondents.

The so-called “shutdown” has become the longest in the American history
The so-called “shutdown” has become the longest
in the American history

Taking into account the above-mentioned circumstances, in the near future, political problems in the United States will keep worsening, which will be the result of the start of the election campaign in the country. In this regard, the opponents of D. Trump will try to bring him under the real threat of impeachment, which should strike a powerful blow to the reputation of the Master of the White House. According to the opposition's intentions, this should turn the current the US President into a so-called “lame duck”, that is to deprive him of any prospect of being elected for the next term. Thus, the US Democratic Party has already announced about a possibility of D. Trump's impeachment, and also nominated its candidate for the next US presidential election.

The opponents of the US President will try to bring him under the real threat of impeachment
The opponents of the US President will try to bring him under the real threat of impeachment

At the moment, in addition to blocking the budget process in the US Congress, the actions of D. Trump's opponents to implement their intentions include the intensification of the information campaign to discredit the Master of the White House. In particular, the American media has spread information about D. Trump's deliberate concealment of the content of his negotiations with V. Putin during their personal meetings (since the election of D. Trump as the President of the United States he has met with Putin five times, one of these meetings, in Helsinki in July 2018, was full-scale, others — on the sidelines of various international summits). Based on this, the US Congress is already considering inviting D. Trump's interpreters to provide relevant evidence.

Besides another wave of information was inspired over D. Trump's intentions to withdraw the United States from NATO because of the Allies' non-fulfillment of their commitments to increase military spending. At this, anonymous sources in the Administration of the President of the United States are cited. The main channel for the dissemination of such allegations is the influential American newspaper The Washington Post, which suggests the organization and coordination of such an activity by a single center.

 

We should expect D. Trump's further steps to support the US economy and national producers
We should expect D. Trump's further steps
to support the US economy and national producers

The growing confrontation between D. Trump and his opponents will also have an impact on US foreign and domestic policy. In order to improve his image, the head of the White House will focus on those aspects of his course, which have obvious successes and are positively perceived by the people of the country.

First of all, we should expect the US President's further steps to support the US economy and national producers, and to create new jobs. The key measures to achieve this goal will include continuation of efforts to eliminate trade imbalances between the United States and other countries, in particular China. Despite the deterioration of the USA-China relations, such actions by the United States have already forced the PRC to make concessions to American interests. In particular, last December, China agreed to increase imports of American products (including, for the first time in history, it allowed the import of rice from the United States).

Thanks to D. Trump the USA is turning into a leading exporter of energy carriers
Thanks to D. Trump the USA is turning into a leading exporter of energy carriers

At the same time, in the economic sphere, Washington is stepping up its efforts to turn the United States into a leading exporter of energy carriers. Thanks to D. Trump's support of the energy sector of the country (lifting restrictions on production and export of energy carriers), last year the United States already came first in the world oil production. The next step in this direction will be strengthening of American positions in the European gas market, both, by the USA's participation in the construction of terminals for receiving liquefied gas in the EU, and through counteracting Russia's gas expansion in Europe. For example, in early January 2019, US Ambassador to Germany R. Grenell sent messages to a number of German companies regarding the possibility of imposing American sanctions against them for participation in the Russian project “Nord Stream 2”.

 

D. Trump will pay special attention to the USA's security and military power
D. Trump will pay special attention
to the USA's security and military power

Along with this, D. Trump will pay special attention to the issue of increasing the USA's security and demonstrating the military power of the country, which also corresponds to the mood prevailing in the American society. Thus, the head of the White House may come up with new loud initiatives to strengthen the US Armed Forces through their comprehensive rearmament and the implementation of various military programs in space and cybernetic sphere.

Washington will also continue its efforts to speed up the process of addressing the problem of nuclear disarmament in North Korea. For this purpose, for February 2019 D. Trump's second meeting with the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un is scheduled to take place in Vietnam. At the same time, the White House will abandon those components of military activity that are losing relevance to the United States or are beginning to cause a negative reaction from the American society. Such steps by D. Trump include the decisions on the phased withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

 

D. Trump's policy towards Russia will become more cautious
D. Trump's policy towards Russia will become more cautious

Against this background, D. Trump's policy towards Russia will become more cautious. In the current situation, the US President can move away from public demonstrations of his commitment to Putin and willingness to improve relations with Russia, since this only undermines his credibility among the American public. At the same time, the head of the White House will abstain from a significant increase of pressure on Moscow fearing it could make public some compromising information about him.

 

All this will have both, positive and negative consequences for Ukraine. For example, under any circumstances, Washington will continue to contain Russia and support our state. Today, this issue not only appears to be one of the fundamental aspects of US foreign policy, but also plays a significant role in the political struggle in the American establishment. At the same time, internal problems in the United States will distract its attention from Ukraine and Russia's armed aggression against us.