Trump Day – A View From A Reader

("RJ" commented on Jason Busch's article on the Spend Matters US site. We liked the comment so much we have turned it into this article as part of our Trump Day. RJ is an experienced UK procurement practitioner who wishes to remain anonymous).

From the other side of the Atlantic, I sure hope that the President works out as well as Jason Busch depicts here. For the next few months, though, I'm guessing you're likely to experience the same period of dreaded limbo we're having here in the UK post-Brexit, where nobody really knows what will actually happen and the whole economy and political scenario is driven by speculation and at times wild postulation on all sides.

The real question is how far Trump has either the will or the ability to see through the more extreme elements of his "policies" (insofar as these were articulated during the campaign). His past behaviours show that he is at heart a self-interested narcissist who will take whatever line best suits his personal ends and my one hope is that in order to protect his (apparently very fragile) ego, he will be forced into more pragmatic stances in order to either keep the economy afloat or prevent catastrophic military situations.

Like you, for example, I can't see how even a Republican Congress is likely to approve tax plans that have been estimated to lose $4.1 trillion from tax incomes. Nor can I see how the mass deportation of up to 11m people from the low-pay labour market will be permitted by lobbyists in the agriculture and hospitality industries (aside from the pure logistics and costs of the action). And as for the wall...

However, my two greatest fears (among a very long list) are the potential impact upon the global economy of his stated actions and the political destabilisation that his posturing has caused and the apparent acceptance that the American population has shown for a reversion to misogyny, racism, homophobia and nationalism.

US protectionism (apart from the short term inflationary impact of tariffs etc.) may well assist the domestic economy, assuming that the US can throw its weight around to ensure the impacts are as one-sided as possible. However, what this will do to the economies of other countries is worrying - not least here in the UK where we will have to do some kind of trade deal with Trump.

And politically we have already seen a rise in racial tensions (and actual violence) in the UK post-Brexit vote, along with a rise in acceptability of far right politics in other European countries. It's quite feasible to imagine a National Front president in France, and extremist politicians in positions of power in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and others within 12-24 months. And this is all before we see what a more relaxed attitude to Putin drives in terms of Eastern European politics.

I know we might want to try and put a positive spin on the situation and to focus on just a few of the areas that impact us personally and professionally but I am personally very fearful of the years ahead. I just pray that the USA's constitutional "checks and balances" can be shown to work.

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