Donald Trump second term: ‘Aggressive’ Trump would intensify arms race with 2020 win

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Donald Trump joined Joe Biden on-stage in Nebraska yesterday, where the two debated for one last time ahead of November 3. The President’s campaign seemed to have grasped the magnitude of his deficit in the polls, as he traded his bold approach in September for a more subdued tradeoff with Mr Biden. Pundits labelled the debate his “best ever” but his overall aggressiveness over the last few weeks has led some experts to predict his behaviour would persist through his second-term policy.

In most of his television interviews, the limited policies Mr Trump has revealed have proven nebulous at best.

The President still hasn’t fulfilled many of his campaign promises for 2016, obscuring the picture of a potential second term.

Policies such as his flagship replacement for the Affordable Care Act or Mexico border wall remain in limbo.

But one distinct change experts have noted, is in his temperament, which one expert said could reliably predict how he acts during a second term.

Inderjeet Parmar, a Professor of International Politics at City, University of London, gave a rough sketch of what could be to come for a second Trump term.

He said the forthcoming big picture would see the President’s increased aggression also extend to his policy.

Professor Parmar said Mr Trump would become emboldened by Amy Coney Barrett’s entry to the Supreme Court, allowing him to roll back the ACA, abortion reform and worker protection.

He added the President would then turn his attention to international relations, shoring up the border wall and intensifying the arms race with Russia and China.

Professor Parmar said the “international system will be under even greater pressure”, promoting nationalism and stoking rivalries.

Mr Trump’s recent actions only serve to bolster this theory, as he has already taken an increasingly aggressive stance against China.

Aside from branding COVID-19 the “China virus”, he has also shoved policy at the country.

He has already attempted to ban Chinese-owned TikTok from the US, shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston, and threatened them with a “big price” for “what they’ve done to the world”.

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All of these actions have taken place in the last few months, setting the stage for another tumultuous term if Mr Trump wins.

The attempts by the President to divide may have given his rival renewed appeal amongst Americans.

Mr Biden – who is near double figures ahead of him in the polls – has so far played the “unifying” candidate, promising to bridge a divided US both internally and externally.

While he has also pledged to keep an eye on China, he has criticised the President’s “self-defeating” and “erratic” trade policy against the country.

But he has also said deeper relations with the country are possible when it comes to several other issues such as climate and nuclear weapons.

His record also shows increased cooperation when it comes to trade with the world power.

As a senator, Mr Biden supported China’s advancement to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), putting the two countries on another step to normalisation.

He also supported the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as Vice President under the Obama administration.

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