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Is Jamaica ready for a 'President' Trump?

Published:Friday | January 1, 2016 | 1:00 AM
David Rowe, adjunct professor of law, University of Miami
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump
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Is Jamaica ready for Donald Trump?

Donald Trump seems to be the leader in the Republican field of United States presidential contenders. He is not, however, a regular member of the Republican establishment. He has called for comprehensive immigration reform. Trump also wants to ban Muslims and wants to use extraordinary laws to dismantle ethnic gangs.

Trump, who started his presidential campaign as an afterthought, is at this stage the Republican Party's standard-bearer. Very few commentators believe that Trump will not win the Republican nomination. What does this mean for Jamaica?

Trump does not believe in a liberal wide open United States immigration policy. He would restrict immigration to highly skilled, well-qualified applicants. Further, Jamaicans in the United States who are connected to drug gangs should watch out as Trump has promised to rapidly deport foreign-linked members of gangs.

Trump does not seem to be keen on the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank and thinks that a great deal of this money should be spent on US needs only, including urban renewal in decaying US Eastern Seaboard cities rather than international investment. This would be a disaster for the Caribbean.

This is the time for both political parties in Jamaica to make informal contact with Trump so that he may develop a Caribbean perspective. This time next year, the United States will have a new President and some think that it will be Trump.

Many people at the Jamaican political table are automatically opposed to the idea of a strong, conservative as a US President. However, realities may force a new approach.

When President Obama, our friend, leaves office our economy's sustainability depends completely upon a viable working US relationship. Our future economic prosperity depends upon positive US tourism and the beneficent official US appraisal of our economic and political stability.

Hillary Clinton, if she is elected president, will be a friend and would prioritise Caribbean needs. Her dynamic role in Haiti shows the type of friend that she can be to Caribbean governments.

Trump, though, is an entirely different kettle of fish who will need 'deep frying' from Caribbean statesmen.

David P. Rowe is a member of the Florida and Jamaica Bar and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law.