The impact of the U.S. President’s election on Samoa

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Republican, Donald Trump and Democratic, Hillary Clinton.

U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Republican, Donald Trump and Democratic, Hillary Clinton.

As the United States of America is heading towards electing its 45th President tomorrow, the winner will have an impact on Samoa and its developments,  the former Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Palauli-i -le Falefa, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, told the Samoa Observer yesterday.

He  explained that depending on the winner, the impact could  be either good or negative for us here in Samoa. 

Faumuina likened the presidential elections in America to that of the elections of world leaders. 

Said he: “America should not forget that the U.S. is the leader of the world. 

“They should not only look at their internal issues, but they should also remember its responsibilities as a leader to the world. 

"The President elections in America are also the elections of the world's leaders.”

From observing rallies and campaigns happening in the America, Faumuina believes the Republican candidate Donald Trump is less in favour of immigrants. 

“From his campaign he made it clear that illegal and undocumented immigrants in America will have to leave the country once he is elected,” Faumuina told the Samoa Observer yesterday. 

“We have Samoans living there and I know some are able to live on Green Cards, and others are not. 

"My concern is that if Trump won, he will deport all of them and that can affect us. On the other hand, the Democratic Canidate, Hillary Clinton, whose immigration policy treats immigrants as assets, and if they are assets she would have to they legalise their status.”

Faumuina says there are immigrants in the U.S. who are doing illegal activities there, and therefore they deserve to be deported. 

However, he pointed out not all of them are and Clinton’s immigration policy considers and sees immigrants as assets. 

Clinton’s immigration plan, when she becomes President, is to introduce comprehensive immigration reforms, and to uphold the executive actions introduced by President Barack Obama. 

The executive plan which were designed to temporarily protect the estimated five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, who were either brought to U.S. as children or who have children who are U.S. citizens. 

Another area that will impact Samoa with the presidential elections in U.S. is foreign aid, and trade agreements between Samoa and the U.S. 

One of those agreements is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among 12 Pacific countries aimed at promoting economic growth, support the creation and retention of jobs, raise living standards, and promote transparency among other developments. 

According to Faumuina, if Trump did win the elections, he would cancel the agreement that had opened up a trade boarder between the countries involved in the agreement. 

“We do rely on wealthy nations to trade,” says the former Minister of Finance. 

 Faumuina Tiatia Liuga
Faumuina Tiatia Liuga

“The impact on us might limit our access to the wealthy nations' markets, because Trump believes the U.S. should focus on its internal issues, and cut other agreements outside that might benefit other countries like us, where the U.S. is paying bulk costs.” 

Faumuina also pointed out that the negative impact will not stop at trading but will also affect foreign aid from the U.S. to Samoa. 

 From the environment side, Faumuina says Trump has plans for America to pull out from its decision to sign the Paris 2020 climate change agreement. 

“He declared that openly to remove America from its commitment to the climate change agreement,”he points out.

“Trump does not see an alternative to substitute works that are affecting the environment.”

About Clinton, Faumuina says although she has been accused of some scandals, he believes she is doing what is best for the American general public. 

“There are times people make decisions not knowing they are not the right choices,” says Famuina. 

“But sometimes those decisions are for the benefit of the general public. Clinton will win whether it is decisively or both popular vote and college vote. 

"I wish both of them well.” 

Another Member of Parliament for Salega East, Olo Fiti Vaai, feels that the U.S. elections are no different from the ones held in Samoa. 

He says it all comes down to walking the talk. 

“Their manifests and goals are all talk,” said Olo. “But the most important part of an election is doing what they'd promised to do just like our elections.

"Our government made a lot of promises during the March elections which was all politics. Onn the flip side though, they have not yet succeeded in some of their promises.”

An example used by Olo is "the Human Rights Protection Party’s manifesto that talked about generating employment for the unemployed. 

“We still have a climbing number of unemployed people and most importantly, they have not been able to provide jobs for our school leavers, who are still going from office to office looking for work. 

“Their plans are not important," he said. 

"It’s what they do that makes a difference.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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