Airmic Talks responds to the US election

Published on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 16:01

The US election has created an extended period of uncertainty as President Donald Trump has refused to concede and continued to peddle unproven allegations of electoral fraud.

While the threat of major civil unrest in the immediate aftermath of the election appears to have passed, uncertainty will continue until Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January and businesses will keeping a close eye on his foreign policy trade priorities.

In episode 19 of Airmic Talks, the fortnightly podcast produced for the UK’s risk and insurance community, Richard was joined by Airmic's resident geopolitical expert Alex Frost and Dr Carrie Nordlund, Associate Director at the Annenberg Institute, Brown University (in Providence, Rhode Island), to discuss the results of the US presidential election, the current state of play and what this all means for geopolitical risks.

The episode was recorded on Friday, 13 November, just prior to Joe Biden being the projected winner of the 2020 election although it was looking increasingly likely that was the case.

Dr Nordlund explained the certification process of the electoral college, which will be finalised on 14 December, and her analysis of whether “faithless electors” could go rogue and keep President Trump in office.

Alex Frost, also Airmic’s Market Development Manager, provided some insight on the likely foreign policy and trade objectives of a Biden administration.

“I don’t think its going to differ enormously from Obama, Bush and Clinton foreign policy,” he said. “If you’re looking at the big relationships, the ones that matter to international businesses and our members, there will be some important changes.

“On Iran, I think a Biden administration will try to move back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that is designed to encourage Iran to reduce its nuclear stockpile in exchange for a relaxation of sanctions. That will create a better environment for international businesses in Iran.

“In Russia, I expect Biden will take a firmer line with Vladimir Putin although, that said, even though Trump warmed to Putin, the US government machinery didn’t so there are some sanctions still in place there on individuals and strategic sectors.

“The two major relationships with China and Europe, and by extension the UK, will be of particular interest. A Biden administration is a lot more likely to put an emphasis on multilateralism, but any hopes for a quick return to an emphasis on free trade and a relaxation of barriers to capital and investment will probably be disappointed.”

To listen to the full episode and all previous episodes of Airmic Talks, find the podcast on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any podcast app.