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US Election: Outcome unlikely to affect Dhaka-Washington relationship

Easterntimes, Special Correspondent, Dhaka, 3 November: The outcome of the United States election is unlikely to affect the existing relationship between Dhaka and Washington.

The victory of Doland Trump, however, is feared to have an adverse effect on the immigrants and citizens of Bangladeshi origin, due to unfavorable policies of the Republican Party in relations to immigration and social justice.

It is true that the relationship between the US and some important countries has changed significantly impacting the world.

Withdrawal from the nuclear agreement between Iran and P 5 plus 1 comprising five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – and non-permanent member Germany, and from the Paris accord on climate change are two instances out of many.

There are many experts across the world who would argue that Trump is more inclined to have a de-globalization approach than previous occupants of the White house.

But, as compared to the Obama administration, there has been no visible change in the US’s engagements with Bangladesh in the last four years under the presidency of Trump.

The US cooperates with Bangladesh in a wide range of sectors like security, health, education, and food. This cooperation is likely to continue whoever wins the presidency because the US considers Bangladesh as one of important partners for its flagship Indo-Pacific Strategy, which is perceived by many to counter the rising influence of China. The US is also the single largest export destination for Bangladesh.

Since the relationship between the two countries is largely based on investment and trade cooperation, Bangladesh can afford not to read too much into the outcome of the US presidential election.

Of course, Dhaka will have to be careful with respect to its involvement with the Indo-Pacific Strategy keeping in mind that China is a very important country for Bangladesh.

According to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, if the past is any guide, the change of occupants in the White House does not change the US foreign policy rapidly.

Hoping that this stance will continue after Tuesday’s election, he said Bangladesh’s economic growth along with its geopolitical location attracts US interests for Dhaka.

Trump victory may adversely affect immigrants and citizens of Bangladeshi origin in the US.

While the reelection of Trump may not affect the Bangladesh-US relationship, it may, however, affect the Bangladeshi immigrants and citizens of Bangladesh living in that country adversely, as the Republican Party maintains an anti-immigration policy and is indifferent to social justice.

Things are feared to be worse during a Trump second term.

The Bangladeshi immigrants without proper documentation are going to be most vulnerable due to the anti-immigration policies undertaken and will be undertaken by the Trump administration.

And, the process of becoming legal residents and naturalized citizens is also more likely to be tougher for Bangladeshi immigrants under Trump than Joe Biden, the nominee of the Democratic Party, which has more pro-immigrants policies.

As for the US citizens of Bangladeshi origin, they will be exposed to more discrimination during the Trump administration than Joe Biden.

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