Trump or Biden? Here's how the 2020 US elections might affect the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Who won? The world awaits the victor of United States of America's 59th quadrennial presidential election.

On November 3, American voters cast in their votes to either elect a new president and vice president or reelect the incumbents. The major two-party candidates are Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden.

2020 US Elections: President Donald Trump vs. Former Vice President Joe Biden
2020 US Elections: President Donald Trump vs. Former Vice President Joe Biden

And while the Philippines may be miles away from the United States, many Filipinos continue to anticipate the results of the elections as it surely has an impact on several policies and bilateral ties.

As of 9:00 pm on Thursday (Manila time), Biden is leading with 264 electoral votes as compared to 214 of Trump. It's a race to 270 to win.

Here's a quick look at how the Philippines will be affected if Trump or Biden wins the 2020 US Elections.

If Biden wins:

Just like any new administration, a Biden victory might signal a shift in the international relations of the Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippines' ambassador to the United States, already anticipated that there could be a change in terms of foreign policy and on the economic situation under the new administration.

It can be recalled that under the Trump administration, the Philippines was not invited to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which could have strengthened the trade agreements between the US and the Philippines.

Under the Biden administration, ASEAN regional interests would most likely be considered more seriously. Biden’s senior advisor Anthony Blinken has earlier promised, “President Biden will show up and engage ASEAN on critical issues.”

Romualdez assured that if Biden wins, the Philippines will be able to handle it. He said when it comes to immigration, it is yet to be seen if Biden will make changes to policies.

When it comes to trade, it is possible that only minimal changes might occur under Biden as many expect he will continue to US' pullout of American industries in China.

Trump victory

President Rodrigo Duterte has been one of the world leaders who expressed his support to Trump. The two leaders who are known for their tough-talking personas have considered themselves allies.

However, with the increasing economic and financial needs of the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte has also expressed his allegiance to China- the country that the US has been in a long-standing trade war with.

Duterte even said he is looking forward to China's COVID-19 vaccine. If the Trump administration continues, the Philippines might be under increasing pressure to take sides in the rivalry between the two countries.

If Trump wins, his "jobs for Americans first" policy would most likely continue. Under the policy, US cut down on issuances of study exchange visas and temporary employment visas. Currently, over 350,000 Filipinos continue to appeal before immigration courts for overstaying.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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