Three days after the American presidential election, on 11th November, 2016, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade held a roundtable discussion on the results. The invited experts were: Dr. Tamás Magyarics, the Head of the Department of North-American Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Gábor Horváth, journalist and Márton Ugrósdy, researcher at IFAT. The roundtable discussion was moderated by Bence Németh, researcher at IFAT.
At the beginning of the roundtable discussion Bence Németh reviewed briefly the results of the presidential elections: the Republican Party’s presidential-candidate, Donald Trump received 290 electoral votes, which means that he will be the 45th President of the United States, while the Democratic Party’s presidential-candidate, Hillary Clinton collected 228 electoral votes.
The assessment of the primary election campaign was reviewed in the 1st panel by the invited experts. According to Dr. Tamás Magyarics, the acceptance of the presidential candidates was really low; but at the same time Donald Trump’s campaign messages urging changes created favourable conditions for him among the voting groups being unsatisfied with the actual system. Gábor Horvát said that the fact that Bernie Sanders was more combating and he could embody an outsider character during the presidential primary election could considerably lead to Hillary Clinton’s failure. Márton Ugrósdy phrased the year of 2016 being the year of ‘rebellious candidates’ in the United States and reminded of the importance to follow the future changes within the Republican and Democratic Party
The roundtable discussion continued with the assessment of the presidential election results. The invited experts agreed that Donald Trump’s victory needed the support of the so-called ‘blue-collar workers’ and the rebelling attitude of the countryside citizens. According to them the tight results achieved in certain cities played an important role in the outcome of the election. Donald Trump’s speeches were often politically incorrect deliberately aiming at a specific voter base. The lecturers highlighted that in the United States there is a huge geographical migration due to the high unemployment, this is an issue that could also contribute to the results of the presidential election.
Regarding Donald Trump’s first 100 days as a President, Márton Ugrósdy drew the attention to the importance of the composition of the newly elected president’s administration and of the experts working at the mid-level in the administration. Gábor Horváth and Dr. Tamás Magyarics emphasized the strategic importance of the Republican majority in the Congress
At the end of the panel the experts answered keynote questions about the future American foreign policy. All lectures agreed that U.S. foreign policy priorities and interest will not face major changes; however, there will be a difference in their importance.