Post Tagged with: "Donald Trump"

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

If Donald Trump remains a cultural warrior, he will fail

Early on in President Trump’s new administration, too much of his energy is being placed on divisive ‘cultural’ issues and not enough attention is being paid to economic policies. To the degree Trump has turned to the economy, much of his policy has been focused on issues that will not yield long-term economic benefits but contain considerable risk, like trade with Mexico and China. And so, while Donald Trump is only a few weeks into his presidency, I think we can begin to take stock of what his presidency will mean for the US economy.

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Trump is dead wrong on Germany. It won’t matter though

Trump is dead wrong on Germany. It won’t matter though

The FT is reporting that US President Donald Trump sees Germany as a ‘currency manipulator’ of sorts, a view bound to have negative consequences on bilateral relations. What’s more, according to the Financial Times, Trump’s top trade advisor, Peter Navarro, has accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to “exploit” the United States as well as Germany’s own EU monetary union partners. This makes three countries in Trump’s sights: China, Mexico and, now, Germany.

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Germany is the biggest loser in 2017

Germany is the biggest loser in 2017

As Donald Trump attempts to make wholesale shifts in American domestic and foreign policy, there are bound to be winners and losers economically and politically. Leading German government representatives from Sigmar Gabriel to Frank Walter Steinmeier to Angela Merkel have all taken a vocal stance against Trump’s policies. But the Trump administration appears to be moving in a direction that would weaken Germany’s hand. And so, Germany risks being one of the losers politically in 2017 – something that plays into Vladimir Putin’s hands.

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Why Canada is the country to watch on Trump’s trade policy

Why Canada is the country to watch on Trump’s trade policy

If you want to know whwere Trump is headed on trade, don’t look at China or Mexico. Don’t even look at the UK. Canada is the country to watch for a number of reasons. First of all, Canada has an existing deal with the US and Mexico under NAFTA. That matters in terms of understanding where Trump is headed on trade. Moreover, Canada is also the 2nd largest trading partner for the US behind the European Union. Finally, the fact that Canada is finishing off its EU trade deal just as the UK is getting ready to exit puts it in a unique position in reconfiguring world trade alliances – wth an Anglo-American group involving Canada a potential outcome.

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The potential for military confrontation due to Trump’s foreign policy

A few weeks ago I was writing about a likely pivot away from China toward Russia in the Trump administration. And my conclusion was that a violent pivot created a lot of unknown unknowns – to use a Rumsfeld phrase. It is the uncertainty and unpredictability that is the biggest problem in my view. I was mostly talking about trade and the economy though. But given China’s latest statements about potential military confrontation, I wanted to follow up with some brief thoughts on the geopolitical side of things.

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Monetary offset, the strong dollar and China’s currency manipulation

Monetary offset, the strong dollar and China’s currency manipulation

With the Fed talking up the likelihood of three rate hikes in 2017 while other central banks are still in easing mode, the potential for a US dollar rout and a concomitant closing of the US trade deficit is pretty low. Therefore, given Donald Trump’s hawkish rhetoric on China, the potential that the US government labels China a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994 is high.

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Donald Trump the risk taker, trade war edition

Donald Trump the risk taker, trade war edition

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Donald Trump and confirmation bias. But it’s going to be a different beast altogether because here’s where I am going to lay out my thinking about Trump and trade. Let me cut to the chase. I think there is a high likelihood that Trump starts a trade war with China. I’ve written about this before – twice! But now I want to outline some possible economic and geo-strategic outcomes based on this. Some of these outcomes are pretty good. But some are catastrophically bad.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Donald Trump the risk taker, confirmation bias edition

My narrative is going to be that Trump is a risk taker. And the conclusion I have drawn is that this risk taking will lead to big surprises — some of them negative, but some positive. Afterwards, rather than give you a bunch of confirming information though — I’m going to tell you about my search for non-confirmatory data, because that’s how my process works.

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More on the coming trade war with China

More on the coming trade war with China

On Monday, I wrote a piece outlining how the US has pivoted away from China toward Russia. And the conclusion I drew from the circumstances was that this pivot will create a lot of geopolitical and economic uncertainty depending both on the importance of the actors on the world stage and the violence of the pivot. As US President Obama is constantly at pains to stress, Russia is not a major player economically. So the pivot toward Russia is one of geo-strategic importance. But the pivot away from China has economic implications. And China-hater Peter Navarro as Trump’s new trade czar is telling us the pivot will be violent.

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Policy divergence, the strong dollar and trade war with China

Policy divergence, the strong dollar and trade war with China

I have heard some commentators say that the concern over a strong dollar is overblown. I don’t think it is. In the context of heightened tensions with China, the strength of the US dollar will be a key issue affecting Asia in particular. I want to flesh out a few thoughts here, especially regarding the pivot by the US toward Russia and away from China.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Supply-side economics likely to dominate Trump’s economic agenda

Donald Trump’s vision of economics is becoming clear as he makes his cabinet picks. In particular, his picks of Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Larry Kudlow as probable Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors point to a more traditional Republican bent, which makes it less likely his policies will meaningfully reduce the income inequality which I believe was behind his surprise victory. Gary Cohn as NEC head is a bit of a wild card. Most likely, Trump will go for some variant of supply side economics, concentrating on lowering and simplifying taxes and making bilateral trade deals.

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Tuning out political hysteria in the US

Ever since Donald Trump unexpectedly won the US presidential election, there has been an unending stream of anti-Trump tirades in the media. The emotions creating this wave of criticism make it difficult to have a reality-based view of the potential economic consequences of a Donald Trump presidency. So I am going to try to frame four issues of concern on an international level here that I think are relevant: Trump’s proximity to Russia, Trump’s proximity to big business, Trump’s hawkishness on China, and Trump’s hawkishness on Mexico.

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