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Election jitters - A lot to fear of today's US midterm poll, says Mahfood

Published:Tuesday | November 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
William Mahfood, chairman of Wisynco Group Limited.
Attorney-at-law Stephen Drummond.
Jeremiah Knight, public affairs officer at the US Embassy in Kingston.

There are several reasons why Jamaica and the rest of the world have a lot to fear ahead of today's midterm elections in the United States, noted chairman of Wisynco Group Limited, William Mahfood.

Immigration and trade are two of the key issues that will be affected by the outcome of the elections, and Mahfood pointed out that if Americans vote positively on locking out nationals from other countries, that could spell trouble for the US, as well as the rest of the world.

"The whole world has a lot to fear today. The continued agenda of the Republican Party of division, as well as their agenda on the removal of free trade worldwide, could have significant impact on our region and the world. America is the largest economy in the world, and if they close their borders to goods from other countries, or make it expensive for goods from other countries to access the market, economies worldwide will start to stumble," Mahfood told The Gleaner yesterday.

In addition, the former president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica said, "The US economy already has a very high debt level," pointing out that the country could eventually run into serious economic troubles.

"The Republican Party has already started the process of reducing corporate tax and personal income tax. What you'll find is that their debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) will continue to grow. That will cause more difficulty, as their economy starts to feel the effects of trade deficits and also increased levels of debt," Mahfood said.




Because the various agendas of the candidates vying for votes today are so dynamic, attorney-at-law, Stephen Drummond, from the US-based law firm Drummond & Squillace, yesterday appealed to US citizens to ensure that their interests don't get left behind.

"It is important to exercise your right to vote and for candidates you believe will support policies you support. Immigration seems to be a critical issue. It is important for folks to consider what immigration consequences will be advanced, depending on who they vote for. This is an election that one should not be quiet about," Drummond emphasised.

"Some want to close borders completely. Others want a more understanding position with respect to borders. Some want a more rigorous process of who gets into the country. Others want to continue welcoming people from all walks of life."

In the meantime, Jeremiah Knight, public affairs officer at the US Embassy in Kingston, told The Gleaner yesterday that Americans in Jamaica and other countries have the same opportunity to vote as if at home.

"They vote via the absentee ballot process. They register to vote and go through the same process as though they were in America. However, they have to mail in their votes, and some States allow you to fax it in as an absentee ballot," Knight said.