2017-12-12 08:09:30date was

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  • Why Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Won’t Extend to Egyptians

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    Over the past couple of days there’s been an unprecedented furore over President Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim Ban’. The POTUS’ temporary ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries has caused almost universal condemnation. Given that our neighbours Libya and Sudan are included in the ban, Egyptians can’t help but wonder if they’re next in line.

    Here’s why we’re *probably* in the clear: 

    As you may already be aware, Egypt receives $1.3 billion in US military aid, most of which takes the form of US military equipment such as tanks, anti-aircraft missiles and training. What you may not know, is that the GOP (i.e. the Republican Party) firmly believes in job creation through the military-industrial complex. You see, US military equipment involves a lot of civilian contracting to get production to the level that it’s at now.

    According to militaryindustrialcomplex.com, 2016 saw the US awarding a whopping 2,408 contracts to civilian agencies, totalling just under $232 billion. That’s a lot of money, and with President Trump and the GOP’s calls for more defence spending, it’s likely that number will rise exponentially. As you can imagine, that kind of spending in the private sector can create thousands, if not tens of thousands of jobs.

    So what does that mean for Egyptians? Well, the GOP values big spending on the military, so the $1.3billion that Egypt receives and the fact that Egypt is the second biggest receiver of US military aid, makes it unlikely that the GOP will want to jeopardize US relations with Egypt, which an immigration ban would most definitely do.

    Which leads us to the next point; Egypt is one of three Arab countries that has diplomatic relations with Israel, and is arguably the most useful one for the US.

    It just so happens that the GOP is one of the biggest and most ardent supporters of Israel (shocker).
    Most recently, they removed language from their platform calling for a two state solution and are attempting to cajole the UN Security Council into not “imposing an agreement or dictating border terms”. Similarly, while President Trump’s likes to make out that he has been going back and forth on the issue, he has made evident his pro-Israeli stance by wanting to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Of course, since Egypt has relations with Israel, the country plays a very important part of the US’ position on the matter— which is another reason why the GOP won’t want to jeopardize US-Egypt relations, despite any specific actions by President Trump.

    Sure, it’s likely that Egypt might protest the ban, but overall, the current status quo between the US and Egypt is pretty much win-win.
    That being said, you might also want to consider that President Trump owns two businesses that operate in Egypt— ‘Trump Marks Egypt Corp’ and ‘Trump Marks Egypt LLC’, both of which buy and sell properties to wealthy Egyptians. So even if the GOP weren’t there to stop any adverse actions against Egypt, President Trump himself would unlikely do anything that would cause harm to his own businesses.

    So what does that all boil down to?

    Whether it’s the GOP or President Trump himself, there’s almost zero chance that the immigration ban would be extended to cover Egypt.  For the first time in a long while, it seems we are at a political and economic advantage. So continue applying for your visas, travelling to the states, and generally enjoying the fortuitous position Egypt holds right now on the international stage.

    __________

    By Albert Bassili

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