The negative economic impact of a Donald Trump presidency would be on par with the threat of rising global Islamist terrorism, according to a global forecast from a leading economic analysis group announced on Thursday.
The Economist Intelligence Unit warned of a “trade war” with China and Mexico and said that the election of Trump “would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups,” although its analysts made clear that they do not expect Trump to win the presidency.
Although Trump has given few details on his political platform, the group explained that the overarching policy agenda that he has outlined would seriously undermine international trade agreements.
In statements billionaire-turned-politician has made regarding international trade, Trump has sought to make it prohibitively difficult to export goods to the United States.
Last month, Carrier, an Indiana-based air conditioning company, announced to its workers that it would be moving 1,400 jobs from the United States to Mexico. A video in which the company made its plans known to its employs went viral and has since had more than 3.5 million views.
Trump lashed out against Carrier in a Republican debate, and said that he would give the company two choices if he were elected president.
“I’m going to tell them, ‘Now I’m going to get consensus from Congress and we’re going to tax you,’” he said. “’So stay where you are [in Mexico] or build in the United States.’ Because we are killing ourselves with trade pacts that are no good for us and no good for our workers.”
He addressed the company’s decision to outsource further in a campaign video released on YouTube last week.
“They wanna leave, they wanna go to Mexico, they wanna make air conditioners,” he said. “When they send those air conditioners here, they’re gunna pay a 35 percent tax, and you know what’s gunna happen? Carrier is not going to leave.”
“Some people have said that my policies on trade would lead to a trade war. Well, I guess when you think about it, we’re already in one,” Trump said emphatically.
“What Trump doesn’t say is that raising tariffs on goods coming into America will raise not only the prices of those goods, but many other prices as well — and stop what little economic growth we have,” Mary Kate Cary, a former George H. W. Bush speechwriter, wrote on his plan to steeply tax imports in an op-ed in U.S. News and World Report. “Higher prices, inflation and rising unemployment would inevitably result, hurting poor and working class consumers the most.”
There would also be repercussions from countries like Mexico.
Some of that fall out from Trump’s incendiary stances on issues like trade that once saw bipartisan support are already be seen. Earlier this month, Mexican officials passed a proposal to ban Trump from entering their country.
Islamist militant groups like ISIS have already begun to use Trump’s vitriolic comments against Islam and Muslims as a recruiting tool.
As the Economist Intelligence Unit noted in its entry on the threat of Islamist militancy, deadly attacks from Paris to Jakarta have become a key concern of policymakers around the world. Should Trump be allowed to fan the flames towards the United States, the world’s largest economy could be further threatened — and drag many of its partners down with it.