Trump vs The World

In a video message recently posted on Facebook, US President-elect Donald Trump vowed to introduce a rule by which at least 2 old regulations are eliminated for every new regulation introduced. While this may seem like a sound policy, further examination of his pre- and post-election vows show that for every good policy, Mr. Trump has at least two bad ones, some of which are very bad, especially for those of us living outside the US.

In that same Facebook address, Trump alluded to one of the central issues of his campaign, his opposition to free trade, when he vowed to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a planned free-trade deal with 12 nations. Leaving aside the merits of this particular deal, Trump’s position on trade forms part of his strategy to force companies to move manufacturing jobs to America, whether or not doing so is economically feasible for them.

Days later Trump announced that he had reached a deal with air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corporation to keep nearly 1,000 jobs, which the company had planned to move to Mexico, in their current plant in Indianapolis, Indiana, which was set for closure. The nature of “negotiations” between a company, which creates value, and a government, which holds a monopoly on power, is clear.

Should Trump follow through on his promises of forcing more companies to move manufacturing to America, with its high taxes and minimum wage laws, and of restricting immigration and sending millions of immigrants (in mostly low-paying jobs) back to their countries of origin, the economic ripple effect will be unimaginably grave; with manufacturing costs rising drastically, so, inevitably, will prices.

While Trump’s policies on trade may cause damage that would take many years to repair, the potential damage of his foreign policy, in particular with regards to Russia, could be irreversible. The applause with which news of his victory was received in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian legislature, undoubtedly only increased the legitimate concerns of America’s allies in Eastern Europe, who find themselves facing the threat of Russian military advancement, which is more real now than it has been at any time since the end of the Cold War.

Beyond the obvious risk posed by the improvement of relations between the U.S. and Russia, Trump has also repeatedly expressed what can best be described as a lukewarm position on NATO. The military alliance, the existence of which has served as a deterrent for Russian military aggression since it was formed, may very well be the only thing stopping Putin from attacking its Eastern European members. Ukraine and Georgia, who are not members of NATO, can attest to that.

If the author of The Art of the Deal needs a powerful ally in his planned trade wars with China, he surely realizes that he must offer something of high value in return. What that something might be is anybody’s guess, but it’ll be Putin’s choice, and unlike the popular Trump slogan, it will put Russia first.

  1 comment for “Trump vs The World

  1. Paul Marks
    Jan 15, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I am glad that Mr Trump wants to deregulate the economy (the burden on American manufacturing industry is presently crushing) and reduce taxation – like the burden or regulations the burden of American taxation on “Big Business” is presently crushing, the Hollywood (and university) doctrine that “Big Business controls the government” being laughably false.

    However, I still doubt Mr Trump’s competence (we shall have to see) and I am filled with dismay that Mr Trump has no real plans to cut GOVERNMENT SPENDING – I remain an unrepentant Ted Cruz man (the only candidate who listed a really large number of Federal Government Departments and Agencies he wanted to abolish – even Rand Paul did not really do this, but Ted Cruz did).

    Also the Credit Bubble economy of the Central Banks (the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England and so on) is due to collapse – and Mr Trump will (unjustly) get the blame for this economic collapse.

    As for Mr Putin – I wish I could be sure that he would put “Russia First” as it is the People’s Republic of China (not the West) that is the real long term geopolitical threat to Russia. However, Mr Putin has a personal dislike of the West (it really is as crude as that – a personal dislike which he developed in his life in the KGB) that leads him to ally with such powers as the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran (both fanatical enemies of the West – not “economic rivals” real enemies in terms of actual conflict). I hope Mr Putin can overcome his personal dislike of the West and ally with us against such powers as the PRC – if Mr Trump manages to bring about such a “realignment” I will be pleased, but I do NOT have high hopes of it.

    Looking back the order to Chang in 1946 to call off the Manchurian Offensive (the last chance to defeat the forced of Mao in China) was a terrible event – not “just” because it produced the regime of Mao (the largest scale mass murderer in history), but also because it left us with the People’s Republic of China – a regime that now (post Mao) allows large scale private manufacturing industry, but for the purpose of providing the economic strength for a viciously expansionist regime. It did NOT have to be this way – China could have been the friendly place that Taiwan is now. May the “Old China Hands” in the American government who demanded “talks with Mao” in the 1940s (undermining Chang and the KMT in the vital Manchurian Offensive of 1946), answer for the crimes – before the eternal court.

    And let us hope that, somehow, a future World War III with the PRC can be avoided – avoided by a “change in the Mandate of Heaven” in China.

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