Tomorrow Donald Trump becomes President of the United States of America. One year ago few would have predicted this would happen. But here we are with a New York billionaire taking over the reins of the World’s largest economy ( and the most competitive of the larger nations ) and the world’s most powerful military.
Of course, the great knock on the Donald , as Hillary and Barack and most of the mainstream media kept reminding everyone , is that he just does not have the temperament for this type of job. We will see . As least we should reserve judgement until he actually has a chance to perform in the office. All up to now is conjecture , interesting as it might be. Of course, Mr. Trump has already surprised and performed must better than was predicted; not only in winning the election but his performance on election night and more particularly on the appointements to his Cabinet. How many commentators had Chris Christie, Rudy Guillani , Mike Huckebee and Sarah Palin as sure bet cabinet members? None of them made the cut! Rather there is a quite confidence among the appointees.
This has been demonstrated most clearly in the Senate hearings . Each of the appointees has handled the process , all non political types, with competence and effectiveness . Wilbur Ross, the Commerce appointee, is a case in point yesterday before the Committee , explaining that it was not the concept of free trade per se that was at issue with the new administration and the President Elect but the nature of those free trade agreements that have been signed by previous administrations. He was quick to indicate that the new administration would tackle a renegotiation of NAFTA and then China. He spoke of China talking a good free trade line but that its practices contradict the rhetoric. And we all know that to be the case with ,for example , its Government controlled corporations. Ross has been involved in over twenty five countries with his various businesses and hence has some feel for the international trade culture , as Tillerson , the Secretary of State nominee , would have in energy. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Ross’s statement to the Senate Committee :
‘I also understand that at the end of the day, each of our trading partners want access to our market. The United States should provide that access to nations who agree to play by our standards of fair trade. We should not put up with malicious trading activities, state owned enterprises, or subsidized production.
So I am not anti-trade. I am pro trade. But I am pro sensible trade, not trade that is detrimental to the American worker and to the domestic manufacturing base.’
It is unfortunate that the peaceful transfer of power , one of the longest peaceful democratic transfers in world history , should be met with such derision, especially when a lot of it is driven by the losers .
Tomorrow or Monday we will see the beginning of the executive order process which I suspect will signal the beginning of new directions in immigration, business regulation , the environment and health care , many of which will have to involve Congress later.