The month of September began with a sudden evacuation for many residents of the Bahamas and southeastern parts of the United States. The slow-moving Hurricane Dorian began its course of destruction with severe flooding and winds the first week of September. In the Bahamas alone, authorities predict it will take billions of dollars to repair the damages created by the hurricane. A country can prepare all they can for a hurricane—whether that means boarding up houses and stores, packing up belongings, or evacuating—but an economy can never be prepared for the deadly effects of a hurricane.
In the Bahamas, tourism makes up over a third of the gross national product (GNP) and employs forty percent of the country’s workforce. The deadly nature of this hurricane has made travel to the Bahamas a mere dream for travelers all over the globe. With a lack of tourism, high unemployment rates will quickly follow. The companies that thrive off tourism won’t be able to operate, as their businesses will be underwater, and they won’t have any tourists to serve for quite a while.
On top of the Bahamas’ tourism issues, trade will become increasingly difficult. The Bahamas does most of its trading (exports and imports) with the United States, but the United States was also hit by Hurricane Dorian. Both countries are going to struggle to meet their trade agreements, therefore slowing trade not only between the two countries, but also with their other global trade partners such as Canada and Mexico.
As the Bahamas look to rebuild, they turn to other nations for assistance. President Trump has promised to focus his immediate attention on rebuilding the Bahamas, but some sources believe the United States might be more concerned about other countries exerting their extreme influence on the Bahamas in their time of need. For now, the United States is mainly concerned about China’s powerful influence in the Bahamas, but the physical and economic state of the Bahamas is so dire that it would be foolish to turn away any help they could obtain. The United States will continue to worry about China exerting its powerful influence on the Bahamas until they know for sure that all Chinese influence has left the country. The main concern with China’s influence is that they would create a military base on the coast of the Bahamas, therefore encroaching closer to the border of the United States, and potentially threatening the safety of the country.