Trump Administration Ban Electronic Devices on Planes: Market Oriented Approach

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24/03/2017 from Qatar


The Trump administration has recently implemented restrictions on passengers travelling to the United States via airlines that belong to eight Muslim-majority countries. These restrictions exclude carrying electronic devices. The most prominent airline companies are Qatar airways, Etihad and Emirates airlines. This is the second time the current US administration has targeted Muslim majority countries. Actions include completely banning people that are from Muslim majority countries from entering the US to banning passengers from carrying electronic devices of airlines flying to the US including Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. However, rather than seeing this as an exclusive threat to the US’ domestic security it also has implications on the poor performance of its airline companies which in recent years three airlines from the Middle East were fiercely more competitive; because the US is dominant economically (soft power), it can use that dominance in balancing power. What this means is that states, from a realist standpoint, act upon or react to each other based on relative capabilities of power, for the US to have a dominance in power and to deliberately use it, it can signify a decrease in its relative capability to compete in the markets. This implies that the more competitive Qatar airways, Etihad and Emirates airlines have proven to be a threat in the airlines market. What this particular ban on electronic devices from airline companies that belong to Muslim-majority countries is that in recent years the US hegemony in soft power is weakening due to years of not improving it; thus in reaction to this crippling economic threat, it attempted in decreasing other countries’ soft power. And because the US dominates over soft power, for now, the United Kingdom has taken similar steps and it is likely that other European countries will follow.