Which Countries Will be Most Affected if Trump Loses Next Week’s Election?

Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory shocked many. The billionaire had no political background and introduced an anti-immigration policy and other controversial issues during the campaign.

After four years in office, Trump has slammed numerous international agreements and taken bold steps by quitting the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 (JCPOA) and pulling out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, a Cold War treaty meant to terminate the US and Russia (then the Soviet Union) short-range and medium-range missile stock. Trump pulled out after accusing Russia of violating the agreement.

Despite his controversies, numerous countries will be severely hit if Trump loses in this November’s election.

North Korea

Despite the failure to find peace at their three summits, ongoing sanctions, and North Korea’s missile testings, Pyongyang would prefer Trump to Biden, who has vowed not to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un unless the young leader offers a concession.

Biden is expected to adopt his former boss (then US President Barack Obama) policy called “strategic patience” by refusing to meet with the North Korean leader unless Kim has something to offer or the regime slowly collapses.

Arry Bainus, an international relations professor at Padjajaran University, Bandung, Indonesia, appreciated Trump’s courage to meet face to face with Jong-Un.

“Regardless of the summit’s results, at least Trump is willing to hold talks face to face with Jong-Un. They can express what’s on their minds,” Bainus told InsideOver two days before the final debate of U.S. presidential candidates.

Even though Jong-Un has tested missiles several times, Bainus claimed that the tension in the region was not that worrying thanks to the summit regardless of the outcome.

Trump and Jong-Un met three times (2018 in Singapore and 2019 in Vietnam and the demilitarized zone). Those summits faltered due to both countries’ different views on denuclearization.

The US wants a total ban on nuclear arsenals while North Korea wants a gradual economic embargo lift.


Trump accused China of conducting unfair trade practices. Then he imposed a stricter tariff on imported goods from China, triggering the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

However, China would benefit from Trump’s ongoing presidency, given the billionaire’s unilateral decision to quit several international agreements. Trump’s exit from international treaties and organizations paves the way for China to exert its global influence.

If Biden wins, Bainus said the tension might focus on China’s alleged repressive act on Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province and Tibet, as Democrats presidents often talk more about human rights issues.


Russia has been accused of being behind Trump’s unexpected win in 2016. Even though US-Russia ties have experienced some highs and lows (such as the demise of the INF), at least there is a positive side from the relationship under Trump.

Russia and the US have agreed on each other’s proposals to extend the New START treaty after Moscow expressed its willingness to freeze its warheads.

“I would expect the US to align more closely to the EU and be more hostile to Russia. This would be consistent with the nation’s stance toward the end of the Obama Administration,” said Marc Joffe, a senior policy analyst at reason.org, in an e-mail interview with InsideOver.

Russia has been hit by sanctions several times, from the annexation of Crimea (2014), the meddling in the U.S. election (2016), and the allegations that Moscow was behind the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter (2018).

Saudi Arabia and Israel

Saudi Arabia and Israel will likely suffer if Trump loses the upcoming election as Biden will reactivate the JCPOA, the Iran deal signed under the Obama administration. This deal is strongly opposed by both Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

In addition, Biden may decide to focus on human rights issues such as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi which shocked the world in October 2018. Turkey and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports claimed that Saudi’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was involved in the killing.

Foreign Policy Unlikely to be Biden’s Focus

If Biden wins, Joffe predicted that the 78-year-old politician will focus more on domestic issues as the US is dealing with the increase in the new numbers of coronavirus cases.

“Also I think there will not be much focus on foreign policy in 2021. The US is preoccupied with the coronavirus and the economic dislocations it has caused. Biden has an aggressive domestic agenda, which will take a lot of work to implement.”

“The situation is very different from 2009 when Democrats were elected, in part, because voters were unhappy with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars,” Joffe explained. “Now that the US has fewer troops in these theaters and takes far fewer casualties, interest in foreign policy issues is much less.”