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Available Expert - Inauguration and the first 100 days

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Six Queen’s University experts are available to comment on topics relating to the inauguration of Donald Trump and the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

Christo Aivalis (History) is available to comment on how the policies of the new administration may affect the Trudeau Liberals.

“The question of trade will be key, because while every prime minister and president since the 1980s has been pro free-trade and supportive of the broad NAFTA project, Trump has turned away from this,” says Dr. Aivalis. “A scrapping or re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could hurt Canadian industries. Specifically, it might affect the auto industry, because Trump spokespeople have said that they are considering import surcharges on Canadian automotive goods.”

Kathy Brock (Policy Studies/Political Studies) is available to comment on the boycotts planned for the inauguration – both by a number of congressional Democrats, as well as by performers invited to appear at inauguration events. She will also be available to comment, following the swearing-in ceremony, on the content of the new president’s speech and the new administration’s policy priorities.

“Donald Trump’s inauguration promises to be one of the more noteworthy inaugurations in recent history on at least three levels,” says Dr. Brock. “How will his address embrace his election campaign promises and statements while appealing to Americans across the nation? Will the attendance and absences signify the coming divides in Congress but also in the nation? Will his inauguration bring down Twitter or fill the social media world with potentially social disruptive commentary leading to civil action? The answers to these questions will provide important insights into the next four years, not only for the United States but also for its sometimes loyal neighbor, Canada.”

Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant (Political Studies) is available to comment on the planned Women’s March to protest the inauguration, as well as generalities about the traditions surrounding the presidential inauguration.

Note: Dr. Goodyear-Grant is available on January 20.

Christian Leuprecht (Political Studies) is available to comment on how the Trump administration’s trade policies will affect Canadian industries.

“Paradoxically, Canadians overwhelmingly prefer the Democrats even though Canada has fared better under Republican administrations,” says Dr. Leuprecht. “Republicans tend to be less protectionist and more favourably predisposed towards free trade.  Trump’s protectionist rhetoric notwithstanding, will this pattern prevail?” 

Dr. Leuprecht suggests four reasons why the incoming administration may be hesitant to disrupt the Canada-US trade relationship – the need for Congressional approval of new trade deals, the degree of investment that both Donald Trump and his Secretary of State have made in Canada, the potential economic benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline on both sides of the border, and whether other issues represent a higher priority.

David Murakami Wood (Surveillance Studies) is available to comment on how the new administration may take advantage of the expansion of surveillance technology – and the accompanying diminution of liberty in favour of security – that has defined the past 15 to 20 years. Dr. Murakami Wood points to the examples of Vladimir Putin in Russia, Shinzo Abe in Japan and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines as potential warnings of the dangers of “authoritarian populism.”

“Now, we have authoritarians in charge of states which have built up the most intrusive and comprehensive surveillance systems and databases ever devised,” explains Dr. Murakami Wood. “President-elect Trump, while not being the most authoritarian of this group, certainly has ultimate control of the most intrusive and comprehensive surveillance systems. Many even within the United States and the technology companies associated with it are concerned that Trump could use these capabilities to do things like try to establish databases of Muslims or people of Mexican ancestry and so on, in order to target them for special measures from monitoring to deportation.”

Joel Sokolsky (Centre for International and Defence Policy) is available to comment on issues relating to defence and international security – particularly the new administration’s position on international defence partnerships such as NATO. The president-elect has called the alliance “obsolete,” while continuing the deployment of US troops to Europe under the NATO mission to deter Russia.

He explains that. sooner or later, the administration will need to decide where it stands on NATO and other partnerships. “You can’t simultaneously deploy troops under NATO and call it obsolete,” says Dr. Sokolsky.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) in the Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.

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