Donald Trump becoming US president poses a greater risk to global economy than an armed conflict in the South China Sea or Britain leaving the European Union.
That’s according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which has included his possible victory in November’s presidential election among its top 10 global risks.
The billionaire businessman has emerged as the clear frontrunner for the Republican party’s nomination after winning the primary polls in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois on Tuesday.
The EIU said it does not expect the 69-year-old to beat his “most likely Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton,” but a terrorist attack on US soil or sudden economic downturn could make his entry to the White House more likely.
Should that happen, Trump’s “hostile attitude to free trade, and alienation of Mexico and China in particular, could escalate rapidly into a trade war”, the EIU said.
“His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East (and ban on all Muslim travel to the US) would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups, increasing their threat both within the region and beyond,” it added.
Even if his more radical policies were block by Democrats and innately hostile Republicans in Congress, the “internal bickering will also undermine the coherence of domestic and foreign policymaking”, the EIU warned.
Overall a Trump victory was rated 12 on the EIU’s one to 25 scale and labelled a “moderate probability, high impact” event.
It ranked sixth in the top 10, which was topped by a “hard landing” for China’s economy. Russia’s interventions in Ukraine and Syria precede a new “cold war” was second, with an emerging markets corporate debt crisis in third.
A so-called Brexit came eighth with a risk rating of 8.
The EIU said: “If Britain did leave the EU it would have negative ramifications for the UK – still the fifth biggest economy in the world, and whose exporters would struggle in the face of regulatory and tariff uncertainty, and whose position as a leading global financial services hub would be imperilled.
“It would also harm the EU itself, given that the UK is one of the few relatively fast-growing economies in Europe, and has also been a leading proponent of trade and services liberalisation.”
Source: Independent UK