06:31 GMT09 August 2020
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    A partial US government shutdown is likely to continue into 2019. This is what the US House of Representatives and Senate said before adjourning on Thursday. Earlier, both bodies of Congress returned to work.

    However, very little progress had been made toward settling a spending bill stalemate between Congress and the White House. President Donald Trump has been demanding $5 billion to fund a border wall along the southern border of the US with Mexico.

    White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently doubled down on the stance, saying Trump will not sign a proposal that does not first prioritize our country's safety and security.

    READ MORE: Trump Cancels Holiday Travel Over Government Shutdown — Official

    Radio Sputnik has discussed this with Alexander Azadgan, professor of international political economy, a senior geopolitical analyst and editor-at-large with Imperia News.

    Sputnik: Reports have suggested that the government shutdown will now most likely continue into the new year. In your view, will members of both parties be able to negotiate something afterwards? What's the likelihood now?

    Alexander Azadgan: Donald Trump's approval rating is 56% actually disapprove of his performance. Only 39% approve of what he's doing. The latest polls indicate that between 43 to 47% of Americans blame president Trump for this shutdown, which is now in its 7th day. More than ever his critics believe that the president is undisciplined, impulsive, chaotic and has now fully materialized into the reality show character that he always was.

    So, this is related to this issue. How will he behave, if he actually loses this? The mascarade that was put up around two weeks ago in the White House, when Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Majority Leader in the House of Representatives and Chuck Schumer, also the Democratic Majority Leader but in the Senate and then the way they took this fight to the street, if you may. I think it's very dangerous in terms of the grass roots populist movement that we're in the midst of.

    But we have to acknowledge that the Trump wall national discussion, which is really the root of this government shutdown that our country basically is in the midst of; of this discussion. It's not just the political issue, but also a highly emotionally charged issue. Border security is important; the illegal immigration issue is just one angle of this wall in my opinion.

    READ MORE: Washington, DC Mayor Bowser Urges Trump to End Partial US Government Shutdown

    The other factors are also the spread of narco-terrorism and other angle is the new supposed overhaul of what is called NASCA. This further takes us into the geopolitical aspect of this issue, which is seriously challenging the western globalization model. This is totally related to this shutdown at a bigger picture. We have to mention this.

    So this immigration discussion is fully alive all across the west. Not just here in the United States and Canada, but also the entire European continent and even Australia. But back to the discussion of president Trump that Mexico should pay for the wall, on the surface this may seem like another Trump bullying tactic, but if we dig in further academically in terms of global business, I think President Trump and his faction believe, they can use the tremendous trade and commerce leverage that we, the United States, have just over everyone, even over China, although China is rapidly catching up. This case, we're applying this trade leverage to Mexico.

    It's really, what this is about, what's behind all this. I don't believe, simply characterizing this government shutdown, as yet another Trump-mafia negotiation tactic would do the larger macroeconomic and immigration issue justice if the Democrats fold and include the 5 billion dollar cost for part of his so-called "big beautiful wall", as he used to say, when he promised this to his supporters during his campaign. A lot of this is politicking, in my opinion, as usual, but, it's on steroids, and it's on Trump's style.

    This is happening, in my opinion, at an extra hypersensitive time, when the clouds are gathering for President Trump, making this issue even more divisive both within the two chambers of Congress, as well as President Trump against half of representatives and then from the different levels among the American people at large.

    Sputnik: Reports have also noted that Democrats are considering three approaches to get funds flowing, but none includes the president's $5 billion demand. How likely are these approaches to be considered and passed?

    Alexander Azadgan: The $5 billion dollar, amount that you've quoted, is just a part of his wall. But the Democrats see this, if they give him the $5 billion, then he's gonna sort of get resurrected. He's gonna get revived from the defeat that at least he deserved; at least he suffered in the House of Representatives. It's give and take.

    READ MORE: Government Shutdown Going Strong as the New Year Approaches

    The Democrats, in my opinion, traditionally have folded, let's be honest. But in this issue they are very serious about the bigger trend, not just Trump himself, but this populist movement across America and the immigration is a big part of this populist movement. So, they're trying to combat not just Trump per say, but this cloud, this zeitgeist, this atmosphere that we are under. It is possible they may settle for the $5 billion dollars, but they're going to portray that as some kind of a compromise and there will be no more funding for that.

    Sputnik: The Republicans have blamed Pelosi and the Democrats for the shutdown, however, Pelosi said that her party will swiftly reopen the government. What are the mechanisms now moving forward? Could they possibly come up with an agreement?

    Alexander Azadgan: There is a reason, why this discussion is taking place at this time. Most Americans are not paying attention to what's going on, because they are in the holiday season. In my opinion, it's going to continue probably week possibly, or two after the new year until the arm-twisting comes to some kind of a settlement, but I think the Democrats cannot afford to give the government shutdown.

    I think they may agree to part of this, but in the court of public opinion and though media they are going to portray this as a victory that they're no longer going to fund anymore for this building of this wall and they are going to claim victory and then Trump is going to claim victory that he got part of what he wanted and he's going to be relentless.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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