Costa Rica reacts to Donald Trump victory

November 9, 2016
1 Comments

Donald Trump’s improbable victory in the U.S. presidential election provoked global shock and angst on Wednesday over the implications for everything from trade to human rights and climate change.

The bombastic billionaire defeated Hillary Clinton in a result that few predicted, as millions of American voters shrugged off concerns over his temperament, lack of experience, and accusations of sexist and racist behaviour.

Trump’s rise has been keenly watched abroad as he campaigned on a platform of trashing trade agreements, questioning alliances, restricting immigration and dismissing climate change.

The initial reaction from Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís was a message on his Twitter profile. He said, “The people of the U.S. have elected Mr. Donald Trump as their President. Congratulations, Mr. Trump, my best wishes for your term.”

The Costa Rican Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations expressed business leaders’ concerns about the election of Trump in a public statement.

Chamber president Franco Arturo Pacheco said that because of Trump’s campaign promises to renegotiate trade deals, impose tariffs and also set stricter controls on immigration, the news is “not good for Costa Rica, as our country in the last 30 years has grown thanks, in large part, to its exports, especially to the United States, currently our main trading partner.”

The business leader added that because Costa Rican receives significant foreign direct investment from U.S. companies, “any limitation, tax or similar policy aimed at U.S. companies with business in other countries will affect our economy.”

Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, also expressed concerns about Trump’s campaign promises regarding free trade agreements and about possible taxes for companies with transnational operations.

He said that the country’s business sector hopes Trump does not move forward with his promise of mass deportations of Central American migrants, as this would severely reduce Costa Rica’s exports to important destinations such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

World reactions

Brazilian President Michel Temer was the first Latin American leader to voice a reaction Wednesday, telling AFP that Donald Trump will need to take into account the goals of all U.S. citizens and stating that he does not believe the victory will affect U.S.-Brazil relations.

“Our relationship is institutional,” he said.

Dianita Sugiyo, 34, a university lecturer in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country – said she was concerned by Trump’s calls to temporarily ban Muslims from countries with histories of terrorism.

“He has always been anti-Muslim and I am afraid he will discriminate against Muslims,” said Sugiyo, a member of a leading Indonesian moderate Muslim organization.

“The United States is a multicultural country and there are a lot of Muslims there, so this is very terrifying,” she added, speaking at a U.S. embassy event in Jakarta.

Politicians worldwide took stock Wednesday of the victory, with the president-elect winning praise from far-right figures and cautious welcome from key U.S. allies.

British eurosceptic politician Nigel Farage, instrumental in promoting Britain’s shock vote in June to leave the European Union, wrote: “I hand over the mantle to @realDonaldTrump! Many congratulations. You have fought a brave campaign.”

The Tico Times will post more reactions from Costa Rica to this developing story as the day continues.

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