World reacts to Trump's upset win in White House race

Americans and the global community deal with the results of the whirlwind White House race.

November 9, 2016 09:43
4 minute read.
US embassy in London

People react to television coverage of election results at the US embassy in London. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Donald Trump's shock win in the US presidential election Tuesday night cued mixed responses from leaders around the world as Americans and the global community closely eyed the results of a whirlwind White House race. 

Victorious in a cliffhanger race that opinion polls had forecast was Clinton's to win, Trump won avid support among a core base of white non-college educated workers with his promise to be the "greatest jobs president that God ever created."

His win raises a host of questions for the United States at home and abroad. He campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist "America First" path. He has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods exported to the United States by US companies that went abroad.

US ambassadors to the European Union and NATO sought to reassure Washington's allies in Europe on Wednesday that close cooperation would continue following the election.

"There's a lot of continuity here," NATO ambassador Douglas Lute told a gathering of European diplomats at the US embassy in Brussels. "NATO has always been a bipartisan venture for the United States."
Clinton supporters in tears

During his campaign, Trump questioned US spending on European defense through NATO; European leaders, especially those closest to Russia in the east, are concerned.

Ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner, appointed by outgoing Democrat President Barack Obama, urged Europeans not to make assumptions about the nature of a Trump administration: "It's too early to reach conclusions," he told reporters.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu congratulated Trump on his victory in the election on Wednesday and said Ankara would strengthen its "trust-based relations and cooperation" with the United States.

He made the comments on his Twitter account.

Also on Wednesday, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament said Moscow hoped for more constructive dialogue with the United States, the TASS news agency reported.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the parliament would welcome any steps in this direction.

The head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriev, said he believed Trump's presidential victory would reduce geopolitical confrontations.

"A less confrontational US foreign policy will unlock major opportunities for joint (Russia-US) trade and investment," Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said in a statement.

Dmitriev said he believed financial markets would recover quickly "just as they did after the Brexit vote."

While global markets did indeed recover following Brexit, the UK economy continues to suffer, even before the political divorce has been completed. The British Pound is the worst performing currency in the world today.

Meanwhile, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that he believed Trump would maintain the current US policy of pressuring North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests.

"Trump has indicated that the greatest problem facing the world is the nuclear threat and members of his national security team hold the position that favors applying strong pressure against the North," Yun said.

He made the comments in a meeting with members of parliament scheduled to discuss the results of the US presidential election. The North conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests in January and September, drawing widespread international condemnation.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte offered "warm congratulations" to US president-elect Trump and said he looks forward to working with him to enhance relations, a Philippine minister said on Wednesday.

Duterte, who has expressed outrage almost daily with the Obama administration and threatened repeatedly to end one of Washington's most important Asian alliances, hailed the success of US democratic system and the American way of life, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

Duterte "looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law," he said.

Meanwhile, France's far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen congratulated Trump as he looked set for a possible shock victory in the US presidential election.

"Congratulations to the new president of the United States Donald Trump and to the free American people!" she said on Twitter.

Opinion polls show Le Pen likely to win the first round of French presidential elections next year but lose in the second round to whoever should be her opponent.

In addition, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Conservative party said on German radio on Wednesday that the German government was uncertain what Trump would do once in office.

"We're realizing now that we have no idea what this American president will do if the voice of anger enters office and the voice of anger becomes the most powerful man in the world," Norbert Roettgen, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and head of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, said on Deutschlandfunk radio.

"Geopolitically we are in a very uncertain situation," he added.

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