Symposium On “U.S Congressional Elections Spillovers”
The Egyptian Council for Foreign affairs held a closed panel discussion, on Tuesday 27th November 2018, on possible spillovers of the U.S Congressional Elections that were carried out on 6th November 2018. This Symposium was opened by Ambassador Mounir zahran, Chairman of the Council, and was attended by an elite of Ambassadors and Academics specialized in U.S affairs.
The participants agreed that winning of the elections achieved by the Democrats over their Republican counterparts in the House of Representatives (where they won 225 seats compared to 197 seats won by the Republicans) shall result in blocking Trump’s Internal Agenda due to their control over House committees, and may also expose him to interrogation and questioning every now and then, contrary to what used to be before the elections. At the international level, the Democrats may affect the U.S foreign policy, but not to a great extent owing to the fact that U.S President has extensive powers over such matter.
Among the characteristics accompanying these elections were that for the first time the U.S President is directly involved in such elections through his wide participation in electoral campaigns and festivals till the last moment indicating that they were basically elections over the person of Trump himself. The results of these elections also reflected new facts indicating more political polarization which the two main parties could not overcome that reflects increasing weakness among the parties that the U.S has known over the past two centuries. And for the first time, a list of unconventional candidates, describing themselves as Socialists seeking achievement and application of social justice, already arrived to the House of Representatives. The list of new House Members included two ladies of Arab Muslim origin as well.
More sanctions are expected to be imposed on Russia as well as taking a closer look at the Russian interference in the previous U.S Presidential elections. Regarding China, both Democrats and Republicans, to a great extent, welcome Trump’s more collisional approach with Beijing, while they may block Trump’s seeking of issuing new sanctions against Iran especially that Democrats look at “Trump” as having wasted the efforts they exerted to reach the Nuclear Agreement under “Obama”. On the other hand, there is a strong return to the Human Rights issue, thus freezing aids to some states based on the conditions of Human Rights therein. Probably Democrats are concerned with the decree on cutting UNRWA funding, particularly due to the humanitarian dimension more than being political, that this file includes. They support, as well, “Dissolution of the Two States” Policy for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition to that, withdrawal of U.S. Forces from a number of World States is expected due to Democrats’ opposition to U.S. military deployment in the territories of other states.
The symposium was closed with the conclusion that Egypt must communicate with both Trump’s administration and the Democrats at the same time as well as formulating a comprehensive strategy for this communication in anticipation of Democrats’ victory in The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election as this is directly related to the Human Rights File in Egypt and thence to U.S. aids to Egypt.