With exactly three weeks to go until the US presidential election and early voting already underway, it is difficult to recall a poll in which the American public and the international community have had such a wide range of concerns about the voting process and its outcome.
While every US presidential election is always the world’s most high-profile affair, this year is particularly different due to the sense of uncertainty that goes beyond the traditional concerns of which candidate will come out on top.
One of the elements that’s added to the uncertainty is President Donald Trump’s recent comments suggesting that, because of the potential for fraud or problems with voting by mail, the election process will be so flawed that he may not relinquish office. Add to this the fact that in a survey conducted in late summer, three-quarters of Americans said it is likely that foreign governments will attempt to influence the presidential election, while 67% believed that the coronavirus pandemic would significantly disrupt Americans’ ability to vote in November. Those fears were heightened when Trump tested positive for Covid-19 just 32 days before the election.
The fragile state of global economic recovery doesn’t really need any added stress — least of all the uncertainty surrounding US presidential election. It is therefore time for both US presidential candidates to abundantly reassure the world that they will fully respect the electoral process and the outcome, no matter who wins on November 3
The sum total of these uncertainties have weighed very heavily not only on US markets and commodities but also on a global economy already struggling to stay afloat due to the coronavirus pandemic. The prospect of a deluge of mail-in ballots, a vandalised US Postal Service, allegations of vote suppression and an overload of lawsuits have made global investors jittery and markets from Tokyo to London acutely volatile.
Reverberations across the stock market
Trump’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis itself sent reverberations across the stock market in a sign of the volatility that is likely unless the Republican President and his Democrat rival Joe Biden clearly declare their intention to abide by the results. Top market strategists have warned that investors should brace for more uncertainty this month even if markets recover from recent weakness. According to others, the lack of clarity about the election outcome could linger on for days and savagely damage global stocks — making the disputed 2000 US presidential race look like child’s play.
The US has always been the champion of free trade and economic resilience — with the world passing through such a turbulent phase due to the pandemic, it shouldn’t become the biggest uncertainty in global economic growth. The fragile state of global economic recovery doesn’t really need any added stress — least of all the uncertainty surrounding US presidential election. It is therefore time for both US presidential candidates to abundantly reassure the world that they will fully respect the electoral process and the outcome, no matter who wins on November 3.