Trump: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Does the globalization gearshift go in reverse? Can the world go back to the days before the emergence of the internet? Will Donald Trump turn the country around to the olden days with multicultural cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle or Miami? Trump did not win any city with a population of more than 1 million people. His is essentially a rural base. Right-wing populism has scored several resounding victories in recent months as a result of errors by liberal governments that could not, did not want to, or did not bother tending to swaths of the electorate that in many cases were left behind and did not benefit from, but instead were collateral damage of, globalization.

It should be noted that some were already aware of the problem. But not only did politicians not see it, neither did academics, analysts, nor journalists who bask in the echo chamber and did not bother to look outside of their own bubble. Trump rode the wave of the disenchanted. Now, he is ready to move into the White House for at least the next four years and quite possibly the next eight.

His plans are dangerous for the whole world if he suspends actions to combat global warming, and the racism and scorn for international commerce are especially harmful for Mexico. The question is if it is possible to halt progress forward now in the Information Age. The automotive manufacturers, top companies such as Ford and Toyota, for the time being have made important announcements confirming that they will keep their planned investments in Mexico to produce vehicles designed for the American market. We should not lose sight of this because it involves heavy hitters tossing around a lot of cash.

Does globalization have a gearshift to go backward? It does not, but it can be in neutral to just creep along and see what happens next.

Division in Latin America

One of the few options for Latin America to push back against the Republican government that will take over in 2017 is to show a united front. They can increase regional collaborative efforts and speak up against injustices that they may face. If instead of presenting a united front countries distance themselves and challenge each other, Trump will steamroll over them without even mussing his bizarre hair.

Statements such as the one made by Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, who said he hopes that Trump’s plans against Mexico would benefit Brazil, would be stopped in their tracks. With that kind of attitude, we are fried. Some threats such as the expulsion of immigrants or building the wall do indeed mostly affect Mexico, but with an increase of tariffs, the inflationary bubble will hit every country that does business with the United States. Everyone will come out on the losing end, Brazil included.

It seems to me that now is the time to make the most out of the expansive border of our country with the U.S. that will continue to exist with or without a wall. The contempt Trump has shown forces us to turn elsewhere to nab investments that lead to jobs which is, at the end of the day, the whole point. We must consider all options from Iran to Russia to India or even Saudi Arabia. If the U.S. doesn’t want it, rest assured someone else will.

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