Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Trump Victory - One day on

The world did not come to an end. The financial markets didn't react badly. The defeated candidate, President Obama and most leading US politicians set aside personal disappointments to wish the incoming President well. And Donald Trump himself spent the day presenting himself in reasoned tones. In fact, nothing much at all happened. Three Englishmen scoring centuries in India is slightly bigger news in some corners of the world stage. After day one, we have very little idea what to expect from a Trump presidency. But I do think it's clear that the only sensible course is to "Give Trump a Chance." 

Spent quite a bit of today in conversation with former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind - as measured as you would expect of a man with his experience of the international stage. We agreed it's far too early to make any meaningful assessment. We know so little about what his agenda is going to be. I feel sure it's not going to be what he's said its going to be. The biggest concern for the free world has to be the Trump approach to NATO. Trump's 'noise' on this issue has been the extent to which NATO members have been prepared to pay their fair share. Only the UK and Poland have paid up the 2% of GDP. We must hope there's room for agreement and compromise here. It's the top issue.

Trump is making some very aggressive noises about Daesh. We don't know what his plans might be to crush this evil, but he can hardly do much worse! Maybe, the warm words he's used about Putin will give him leverage. Have to wait and see on this. We've heard his anti trade rhetoric, based around the principle of protecting US jobs. But we don't know whether this will be tinkering for PR impact, or a serious undermining of free trade, particularly with China, which would be damaging to all. From a British post Brexit perspective it could be goodish news on trade. 'Front of the queue' maybe! So much to ponder.

But one day on from the astonishing US Election result, the reality is we do not know much we didn't know yesterday. Except Trump has surprised us by his reasoned tone. Gone is the hate-filled rhetoric of the last few months. It may just be that having won, he will want to be a good President. I for one am content to say I that while I could never have voted for the campaigning Trump, I should trust the American voters, and 'Give Trump a Chance'. We owe that to the future of our world.

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