"I hope this era brings healing not only to the US, but to foreign relations as well."
For a country of power such as the US, the presidential election is crucial, sometimes controversial, and highly anticipated. The results will affect the country’s economic and foreign agenda. For a country as influential as the US, the new policies will affect not only the region, but the world in general. The next US President will determine the US’ power to influence actions and alliances, both political and economic. For these reasons, the entire world is on its toes. This year’s US election was intense and tight, and probably one of the most awaited elections by both Americans and the world.
Congratulatory messages flood in for President-elect Joe Biden. Biden, a democrat, vows to facilitate healing of the United States. During his campaign, he was vocal about his stance on climate change and on strengthening of democratic institutions, as well as establishing strong bilateral ties with other countries. While Americans celebrate the change in the administration, the world waits in anticipation.
President Duterte has welcomed the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and reiterated the country’s commitment to enhance US-PH relations. But how will a Biden-led administration affect the Philippines?
As a long-standing ally, we have been a regular recipient of support and aid from the US. We have engaged in numerous bilateral activities and trade agreements which have significantly benefited the country. The US is also one of the countries with the largest Filipino migrant communities. More importantly, the US remains as one of the staunchest advocates of the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.
The Trump administration has a tough stance on the West Philippine Sea issue. Recall that the US acknowledged the arbitral ruling that invalidated the nine-dash line claim of China over the WPS. US military flotillas were sent to the contested waters to show that nobody has the monopoly over the WPS. President Trump declared unlawful China’s aggression to the resources found in the contested waters and even urged American companies in China to move operations back to the US. Clearly, Trump did not bat an eyelash when he put up against the power and influence of China.
While foreign policies should be treated with utmost care, I believe it is only right that our sovereignty be respected by leaders of the world. Trump’s tough stance against China shows the US’ observance of the rights of free nations. With Biden as the next US President, political experts and analysts view that the next administration will reinforce its support in upholding the victory of the Philippines in the Hague ruling as he intends to repair ties with US allies. I do hope President-elect Biden follows through with this commitment.
As for the immigration issues in the US, I am also hopeful that President-elect Biden will resort to a more positive approach, incorporating mutual respect over the welfare of migrants. As Biden is seen to adopt a US-centric policy in terms of labor and capital, I trust that he will enforce reasonable and lawful restrictions and look favorably upon migrant employees.
As the US turns over a new leaf, I hope that our bilateral relationship continues to strengthen and foster in a strong coalition of democracies. In totality, I hope that the Biden era will bring healing not only to the US, but to foreign relations as well.