Donald Trump

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Why is Trump a global issue?

24th April 2017

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Anthea Roberts is a specialist in public international law, investment treaty law and arbitration, and comparative international law. Prior to joining the ANU, Anthea was an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics (2008-2015), a Visiting Professor and Professor at Columbia Law School (2012-2015) and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School (2011-2012). She is also a Visiting Professor on the Masters of International Dispute Settlement at the Graduate Institute/University of Geneva.

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This week marks 100 days of the Trump Administration in the US.

Many of the major issues linked to Trump’s candidacy, and now presidency, are issues of global governance and regulation.

Therefore, there are many ways in which ‘Trump’ intersects with the work of RegNet (the School of Regulation and Global Governance). Three of these are explored below.

Firstly, Trump’s election is seen as part of a backlash against economic globalisation. RegNet’s Anthea Roberts discusses in the European Journal of International Law’s blog, EJIL: Talk!, and the International Economic and Policy Law Blog, how economic globalisation has produced ‘clear winners and clear losers’ – the winners being predominantly the middle classes in developing states in Asia and the richest people in the world (the ‘global 1 percent’), and the losers being predominantly the lower and middle classes of developed states such as the US and UK. The lack of any real income gains for the latter group, particularly when compared to high gains for the two former groups, has led to resentment and political backlash in these developed states.

Secondly, the Trump Administration’s questioning of climate science threatens to undermine the ‘Paris Agreement’ – a landmark international treaty on climate change ratified by 143 countries. Join us on 16 May to hear RegNet’s Neil Gunningham, a specialist in global environment and energy governance, discuss the role of various state and non-state actors in shaping the climate change agenda. He explores what else the grassroots movement needs in order to instigate a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy.

Thirdly, the Trump Administration’s decisions are changing the face of international trade and investment agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump is likely to pursue increasingly US-centric agreements, with increasing protections for US companies. International trade and investment treaties can impact directly on global health and environment, for instance by affecting food availability, quality and prices, or by allowing companies to invest that could increase harmful consumption through the sale of e.g. tobacco and alcohol. RegNet specialises in this relationship between trade and investment treaties and public health. See for example, the following paper published in Critical Public Health by RegNet’s Sharon Friel: ‘What has the food industry been lobbying for in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and what are the implications for dietary health?’.

Contact us to find out more about our work or follow us on Twitter @ANURegNet

Updated:  12 February 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet