Beyond the US
What begun in America (SPY) with Donald Trump’s protectionist pledges during his election campaign last year is now a wind blowing steadily across other continents as well.
We’re seeing populism on the rise most notably in Europe (VGK) (FEZ) with a number of instances across the continent.
- Great Britain’s (EWU) decision to exit the European Union on June 24, 2016.
- The Law and Justice Party coming to power in Poland under the leadership of President Andrzej Duda.
- The Hungarian Civic Alliance elected in Hungary under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
- In France, the National Front’s presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, is winning increasing support on populist promises.
In Russia (RSX), we see a conservative President Vladimir Putin aligning with some of the populist movements sweeping through Europe. Moreover, Donald Trump’s anticipated attempts to mend ties with Russia in 2017 by reducing or lifting sanctions, could serve as a tailwind towards populist maneuvers by the Russian government.
A recent NATO report has, in fact, accused Russia of the rise in populism worldwide. What began in the US and has now spread across Western Europe in the name of populism is an effort to undermine NATO and the European Union, according to the report.
China (FXI), on the other hand, is openly denouncing the rise in populism. As the first Chinese head of state to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping slammed populism and de-globalization at the meeting in Davos. “Protectionism, populism, and de-globalisation are on the rise. It’s not good for closer economic cooperation globally,” and that “no one will emerge as a winner in a trade war,” said President Xi.
Xi also took the occasion to clear the ground on Donald Trump’s opinion of China’s next move stating that the country would not be devaluing its currency in attempts to boost its trade competitiveness.