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The prospect of Donald Trump becoming the president of the United States, and the ripple effect that would have on the world, is beginning to freak a lot of people out. A geopolitical research firm attempted to quantify that panic by ranking a possible Trump presidency on its list of risks to global economic security, on par with the rising threat of jihadi terrorism.The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research arm of the British magazine the Economist, ranked a Trump presidency as a 12 on its threats to global economic security scale, which ranges from one to 25. The researchers cited several of Trump's stated policies as justification for their ranking, including his hostility toward free trade, promise to kill the family members of Islamic State terrorists, banning Muslims coming to the US, and accusing China of being a currency manipulator.
Trump's "militaristic tendencies" toward Middle Eastern countries, the EIU argued, would be a potent recruitment tool for possible future terrorists. Trump's hostile stance toward free trade could spark a full-blown trade war and destabilize the global economy, the firm added.This was the first time the well-respected EIU had included a presidential candidate on its list of global threats."It's highly unusual, and I don't think we ever have done it where we've had a single politician be the center of our risk items," said Robert Powell, a spokesperson for EIU told Politico.
The list also included the possibility of a new Cold War prompted by Russia's involvement in Ukraine and Syria (ranked as a 16), Greece exiting the Euro Zone (15) and a collapse in global oil prices (4).This was not the first time that Trump has provoked attention and fear from people abroad. In January, members of the British parliament debated barring him from their country altogether, after more than a million people signed a petition calling for him to be banned.The EIU researchers wrote assuredly that they didn't believe Trump would actually become president, but still felt they needed to warn the world about what might happen if such a scenario came true. In the unlikely event that Trump takes office and tries to push some of his proposed policies through Congress, the authors wrote "such internal bickering will also undermine the coherence of domestic and foreign policymaking."Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for comment from VICE News.Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928