Saturday, January 21, 2017

My take on President Trump.

Yesterday, the people of the US elected as their 45th President a most unusual man. It's not possible to make even a reasonable guess at what sort of a President, Donald John Trump will turn out to be. Up to now I've held a negative opinion of Mr Trump. I thought the way he approached his election campaign was utterly dreadful. I also thought his Inauguration Speech a worrying rant and a threat to the world economy in particular. But it's over. The Donald is now the President. He won. We had all best get used to it.

There have been protests in many coutries, sometimes degenerating into violence. All fair enough (without the violence) but it won't make much difference. He won. We should give him a chance. Let us see what he delivers, rather than focus on what he has said. And let us in the UK look to work with him in the interests of the world, the US and  our self interest. I can understand why some are disappointed. But the publicity challenging the decision of voters never works. It will just reinforces support for the President.

The main reason we should be worried about Donald Trump is his rhetoric about protectionism and apparent antipathy to work trade. I've no problem with his challenge to world's liberal elite, or to orthodoxies that are ruled out of debate, or to his demand that other NATO members pay their way. But his championing of protectionism is a real worry. Putting up economic barriers will not bring prosperity or jobs back to the US. Just as impediments to trade in Europe as the UK leaves the EU will damage the economies of all. It may be a glorious opportunity for Theresa May to become the Western world's 'free trade' leader. But we need the US President on board as well.

The other big worry is his seemingly high regard for Mr Putin. Again it's not unreasonable to talk about wanting to make an accommodation with Russia, but it will need a very watchful eye. Putin is not Gorbechev. All European states are going to have to take security a bit more serously. First duty of any government is to protect its citizens. Mr Trump is likely to make clear that it will be no use looking to the US to carry more than it's share of the burden.

But back to the theme of thus blog post. What's gone is gone. Donald Trump won. Move on. Give him a chance to show us he can be a successful President.


IanJ said...

As non-US citizens we should keep quiet for a bit.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Trump might opt for penalising American companies over foreign companies. For example, US companies that want a low corporate tax rate back home but who build plants outside the USA will have to pay 35% corporate tax rate instead of 15%. Also, expect the USA to become a big supplier of so called 'rare earth metals' which are used in smart phones and other electronic systems/devices. This will help encourage Apple et al to build new plants in the USA. Also, expect outsourcing of national security IP, e.g., outsourcing of patent drafting and prosecution to India, to stop under a political decision handed down to the USPTO from the Trump Administration. And as far as 'hard' protectionism goes (from the UK perspective now): so long as May pushes for hard Brexit expect a concerted effort by Trump to boost the UK economy via a favourable trade deal, BUT ABSENT BREXIT, EXPECT A TURNAROUND. Trump wants to undermine the EU and will do very good trade deals with any current EU member state going for hard exit. Trump wants the EU cut down to size. The reasons for this are complex and beyond the scope of this reply. Excuse any typos ... no time to re-read.

Anonymous said...

We export far more to the USA than they export to us. So when he says he is eager to arrange a new trade deal we all know what that will mean when he says America first.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

The UK will seemingly 'enjoy' a seamless set of promises of a favourable trade deal with Trump's USA so long as it plays ball with the Trump onslaught on the EU. Make no mistake. The EU is in a fight of its life against a President convinced of the need to break up the EU with deep dagger thrusts into what passes for the heart of the EU. And so it begins: