Trump’s A Loose Cannon, Why It Could Cost You
It’s been over a week since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. Like more than 65,000,000 other Americans, I do not support President Trump. I believe his policies are anti-American and put recent economic growth at risk. But hey, I’m some whiny little snowflake teenager, so my opinion doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that President Trump’s recent actions involving trade and foreign policy will have negative effects on international travel. Here’s why.
Anti-Trade, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Travel
President Trump officially started Monday, but already, it’s been a very busy couple of days for the new administration. Though President Trump frequently condemned President Obama’s use of executive actions, the new administration is well on its way to a hefty stack of executive actions itself. The new administration has covered everything from allowing construction of pipelines to not allowing Americans to return to their country. President Trump has issued 14 executive orders since Monday. Among those 14 were some that were blatantly anti-travel.
Recent, Future Growth in Asia Now at Risk
The big three US airlines, American, Delta, and United, have all been expanding in Asia in recent years. Additionally, Asian air carriers have also made a push into the US. Growth has come from expansions into Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. However, the country that’s seen the most growth as it relates to direct airline service to the United States is China. Both the “big three” and Chinese carriers, aided by economic growth in both nations, have added service between the two countries. Aircraft including the Boeing 787 and Airbus a350 had ensured future growth into smaller, more remote Chinese cities. In recent decades, the United States and China have both benefited from mutual trade. The US imports everything from toys to electronics and in turn, China has grown, as has the US. This growth is undoubtedly what allowed for US airlines to expand into China.
It’s believed that due to the great distance aircraft had to cover, that routes to secondary cities in Asian cities have always been somewhat fragile. For example, United operates San Francisco to Chengdu, China. This route could potentially be suspended or dropped due to slightly higher oil prices or decreased economic activity between the US and China. This is because the route has lesser demand than say San Francisco to Beijing but covers the same distance, requiring nearly the same amount of fuel. This is the same scenario with many other routes from the US to Asian countries.
The Trump administration has already backed out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which could potentially mean decreased trade and economic activity between the US and Asian nations. Additionally, President Trump really doesn’t like China. He’s publicly stated that he wants to bring manufacturing jobs over to the US from China and make goods back in the US. That’s great if the US didn’t regulate its workforce and respect workers rights. Ultimately, if those jobs do shift away from China, Americans will pay more money for goods. Furthermore, cutting ties with China and other Asian countries including Japan and South Korea in favor of making things in the US would likely mean a decrease in flights between the US and Asian countries. With significantly fewer business ties between the United States and Asian countries, both Asian airlines and US based airlines could lose premium business travelers they need so badly to continue to serve cities in Asia. Fewer flights to Asia means less international travel and a decline in growth for major US airlines.
He’s Gonna Build a Wall, and It’s Gonna Hurt the US Economy
Sorry to break it to all of the anti-Mexico Trump supporters but the US and Mexico are trade partners for a reason. Mexico can make certain things cheaper than the US can, and the US can make certain things cheaper than Mexico can. It’s known as specialization, and it’s the driving force behind NAFTA. NAFTA is also a major reason the US and Mexico have historically had a great relationship with each other. This great relationship is seen through, not only NAFTA, but some of the frequent traveler programs. From special passport(-ish) cards for those who frequently pass between the border between the US and Mexico to Mexican Nationals having access to known traveler programs in the US. It’s very easy to legally travel between the two North American nations.
However, relatively stress-free legal border crossings for Americans and Mexican Nationals could be coming to an end. The Trump administration is in the process of building a massive border wall to keep immigrants out of the United States. Additionally, President Trump wants to re-evaluate NAFTA and other trade relations with Mexico. This all points towards more stressful travel between the US and Mexico whether it’s by air or by car. The President’s recent Twitter tirades regarding the Mexican government’s stance on not paying for a border wall have also proved the President to be incapable of maintaining foreign relations. That of course, could also be very detrimental to international travel.
Trump Doesn’t Even Want Americans to Enter America
That’s right. One of President Trump’s most recent executive orders bans both immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim countries. This means that visas won’t be accepted from these Muslim countries. Aside from how blatantly racist and disgusting this executive order is, it means that even Americans wanting to return from these countries will not be able to return. Their visas aren’t valid. Not only is President Trump anti-immigrant but he also appears to be anti-American.
Again, aside from the racism, this is shocking. With one signature, the President of the United States has just banned travel from seven countries. This is so shocking because it demonstrates how easy it is for the President to simply ban travel to/from a certain country. What’s keeping him from doing this to other countries he’s not happy with or views as a potential threat?
Additionally, the Trump administration has suspended the Visa Interview Waiver Program. The Visa Interview Waiver Program allows a select group of international travelers from certain countries to bypass the in-person interview required to obtain a US visa. This is blatantly anti-travel.
I don’t like Trump, period. The Trump administration is simply bad for the United States. As a young person with his entire life ahead of him; deciding whether to major in Aviation Management or Business, wondering what the future job market holds, and looking further into the future to what it’s going to be like to raise a family, President Trump could very well change this country for the worse. Aside from this, he’s anti-globalization. Though to an extent, I too believe that globalization has its limits, it’s needed in today’s world. Trump’s dangerous “America First” mentality could very well have devastating consequences on international travel. We’ll just have to wait and see.
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