The partial government shutdown entered its fourth day Friday, and President Obama canceled a planned 17-day Asia trip that was part of his administration’s “pivot” to focus more on the rising economic powers in the region.
“This is not the first time he’s had to cancel trips to Asia,” says Rebecca Cruise, a comparative politics expert and the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “So this does send an interesting message to those leaders. Are we really going to be focusing our attention there, or are we really trying to get involved in the region, and try to exert our interest there vis-à-vis China? That has consequences.”
If the shutdown continues, backlogged applications for visas could grow tremendously. Cruise says during the 1995-1996 government shutdown, between 20-30,000 visas per day went unprocessed.
“So that restricts what we can do in terms of traveling, and it restricts those people trying to come to this country, and of course tourism and dollars are always associated there,” Cruise says.
KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.