US President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK from today has attracted considerable hostility, with the Stop Trump Coalition leading a “carnival of resistance”, including a national demonstration set to be held in London tomorrow.
However, while the Stop Trump movement has focused on protesting Trump’s presence in the UK, arguing that his visit “normalise[s] Trump’s agenda and the hate and fear it has sparked”, it has been urged by the CEO of a leading financial advisory organisation to instead focus on his “multi-front trade wars” due to the significant global damage they pose.
Nigel Green, CEO and founder of independent financial advisory organisation deVere Group, argued that Trump’s actions risk a global recession and threaten jobs across the world, making it a more pressing cause for protest.
“Bizarrely, there have been no heated mass protests and derogatory inflatables about Trump’s multi-front trade wars that make a global economic downturn a real possibility,” said Green.
“Rising protectionism, the tit-for-tat dispute between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies – and now possibly between the US and Mexico too, will inevitably hit consumers around the world by making it harder for all firms to operate, encouraging them to push steeper prices onto their customers.
“This will drive global demand lower – and this will force job and wealth-creating firms around the world to cut costs, meaning less investment, fewer jobs, and, therefore, less tax revenue for governments.”
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There are a number of protests planned against Trump during his visit to the UK. This evening a protest will be held outside Buckingham Palace to coincide with his visit with the Queen, while demonstrators will gather in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday from 11am to march to Downing Street and then on to Parliament Square.
This is following considerable negotiation with the Metropolitan Police, which sought to stop the Downing Street part of the Stop Trump march over security fears.
“This is a victory for all of the protesters who are joining us on Tuesday to make their voices heard against Trumpism,” said a spokesperson for the Stop Trump Coalition.
“The Carnival of Resistance will be going on yards from the building where Trump is meeting with members of our chaotic government, disrupting his visit and getting our message across loud and clear – Trump and his politics aren’t welcome in the UK.”
However, Green argues that due to Trump’s position as US President, his presence should not be the focus of protests and they should instead be about his policies.
“It is unfathomable that Trump’s banquet with the Queen, which is about pomp and ceremony, is sparking more outrage and controversy than his trade policies that threaten to send the world into a global recession,” he said.
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“Mr Trump is the democratically-elected leader of the US, the UK’s largest and most powerful ally in the world. To me, it seems pretty standard he would be afforded a state visit. Strategically less important, and more controversial, undemocratically-elected leaders have been welcomed in the same way.”
Trump trade war threatens the world economy
Trump is now fighting a trade war on two fronts. His ongoing battles with China, which have pulled 5G provider Huawei into the heart of the dispute, have seen tariffs on Chinese goods climb from 10% to 25%. A further $300bn of Chinese imports are also being threatened with tariffs.
Meanwhile, Mexico is now being brought into the mix. On Thursday Trump used his preferred format of Twitter to announce a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports from 10 June, which would rise a further 5% each month to a maximum of 25% in October.
For Green, both policies threaten global economic stability, and therefore pose very real problems for the international economy.
“Mr Trump’s protectionist, anti-globalisation policies have real consequences for people around the world, especially as China is wheeling out ‘counter measures,’ and as the White House last week reopened the North American front in his global trade wars,” he said.
“There should be people on the streets calling for free trade and the scrapping of US-led protectionism in order to boost the world economy.”