Bipartisan U.S. Election Preview and Foreign Policy Implications

Bipartisan U.S. Election Preview and Foreign Policy Implications

On August 14, to over 60 registrants, AMCHAM’s Business Economics Committee hosted Bipartisan U.S. Election Preview and Foreign Policy Implications. With the U.S. Presidential Election moving ahead at full speed, members were able to receive critical insights to both the Biden and Trump campaigns as November fast approaches. Luca Bernardinetti, Business Economics Committee Co-Chair, introduced speakers for the event: Nelson Cunningham, President of McLarty Associates; and Ambassador Rick Burt, Managing Partner and Eurasia Director of McLarty Associates.

Nelson Cunningham opened the event by discussing his involvement with Biden campaign. He commented on the struggle of stopping the campaign efforts for Covid-19 and on Biden’s desire to move into politics regarding civil rights issues. Nelson spoke on how strong Biden was currently performing in the polls; even in traditionally red states like Arizona. He also commented on Kamala Harris, Biden’s recent pick for Vice President, and how she has added to campaign efforts. Nelson spoke on how the Democratic National Convention, an event that was been moved to a virtual conference, will be a strange affair for American politics in general. It is unknown how Americans will react to an event that will be without applause or the typical fanfare included with previous conventions. Finishing his opening remarks, Nelson stated that the 2020 election “will be a great test in America’s seriousness.”

Ambassador Rick Burt then gave a statement regarding his lifelong history with the Republican party. He stated that he’s not a strong supporter of the president, but he can be objective in his decision making regarding the Trump campaign. “This is the probably the most important presidential election of the 20th century for the United States.” Amb. Rick commented on how a week could be considered a long time in politics. He mentioned that at the start of the year, Trump had a strong economy and a low unemployment rate that could’ve helped with a reelection campaign. However, the intervening variable was the coronavirus and that has massively impacted the president’s chances of serving a second term. Amb. Rick then argued that it’s premature to argue that a Biden administration is imminent. He cited three reasons for this: Trump’s will to succeed makes him a dominant figure in politics, he has a loyal and energetic base, and that the electoral college may still work in his favor.

The event then opened to a question and answer segment where listeners were able to directly ask the speakers their opinions on pressing topics surrounding the 2020 election. Amb. Rick and Nelson both commented on queries regarding mail-in voting and Trump’s involvement with the United Stated Postal Service (USPS). As well as Medicare for All and what that could mean for so many Americans, especially during a pandemic. They also gave their opinions on the impact that either a Biden or Trump administration would have foreign policy with China before giving their opinions on what key indicators would be for a Trump victory in November. A recording of this event is available through the AMCHAM member portal.

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