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Tags: donald trump | jobs | style | dealer

Trump's In-Your-Face Wheeler-Dealer Style Continues to Pay Off

Trump's In-Your-Face Wheeler-Dealer Style Continues to Pay Off

(AP/Evan Vucci)

Dr. Edward Yardeni By Tuesday, 24 January 2017 08:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Trump World: Hail to the Chiefs

“Hail to the Chief” is the official Presidential Anthem of the United States. The song is played when POTUS appears at public events. Andrew Jackson was the first living President to have the song used to honor his position in 1829. Many commentators have observed similarities between Jackson and our new President Donald Trump. Like Jackson, Trump is opposed to the status quo and is intent on stirring things up. Like Jackson, Trump is a populist who believes that the government should use its powers to do more for ordinary people than for the ruling class.

As Trump said in his Inaugural Address on Friday, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” He added, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

The focus on “forgotten” Americans is reminiscent of FDR, who claimed that his New Deal was aimed at helping the “forgotten man.” FDR first said so in a 1932 radio address: “These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

The word “protect” appeared seven times in Trump’s speech on Friday. It certainly wasn’t a speech for conservatives, who would have liked to hear the new President champion smaller government with fewer powers, though he previously has pledged to reduce government regulations. In other words, Trump is out of step with the traditional Republican values of limited government, economic freedom, and free trade. He intends to use the power of the government and his bully pulpit to achieve his populist agenda. He has already bullied a few major corporations to invest more in the US.

The jury is still out on the extent of his trade protectionism. My hunch is that he will push for fairer trade deals without crossing the line into outright protectionism. My hunch is that any large corporation that agrees to invest at least $1 billion in the US and create at least 1,000 jobs for Americans will be removed from Trump’s tweet hit list.

Trump’s speech also was reminiscent of JFK’s Inaugural Address, though in a mirror-image fashion. JFK announced that the US would be very active on the international stage:

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge--and more. To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do--for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder. To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom--and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

“To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge--to convert our good words into good deeds--in a new alliance for progress--to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

“To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support--to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective--to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak--and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run. Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.”

Trump’s spin on the geopolitical role of the US is pithier and downright isolationist:

“We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country [have] dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.”

Needless to say, there was no mention of any alliance for progress with our neighbors south of the border.

Yet love him or hate him, Trump’s in-your-face wheeler-dealer style continues to pay off.

Consider the latest developments:

(1) Foxconn. Reuters reported on Sunday that Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, is considering setting up a display-making plant in the US. The investment would exceed $7 billion and might create 30,000-50,000 jobs. Foxconn business partner Masayoshi Son, head of Japan’s SoftBank Group, talked to Foxconn’s Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Gou before a December meeting Son had with Trump. As a result of the meeting, Son pledged a $50 billion of investment in the US.

(2) Germany. Reuters reported on Saturday that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel “vowed on Saturday to seek compromises on issues like trade and military spending with U.S. President Donald Trump, adding she would work on preserving the important relationship between Europe and the United States. ‘He made his convictions clear in his inauguration speech,’ Merkel said in remarks broadcast live, a day after Trump vowed to put ‘America first.’”

That’s awfully gracious of the Chancellor after Trump’s scathing attack on January 15, in which he said that the European Union is a “vehicle for Germany” and ranked the German Chancellor alongside Vladimir Putin as potentially troublesome. He said that while he had great respect for Merkel, his trust for her “may not last long at all.” He said Germany’s dominance of the EU showed why the UK was “so smart” to get out. “I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know all the people from wherever they come from,” he said. “And nobody even knows where they come from. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake.”

Trump also raised fresh fears for the future of NATO by saying that while it is “very important to me” the alliance is “obsolete.” He said: “Only five countries … are paying what they’re supposed to.”

(3) China. Trump clearly has found the right button to push to get the Chinese leaders’ attention on both trade and geopolitical issues that he wants to negotiate with them. Challenging their “One China” policy is certainly agitating them. According to Beijing, Taiwan and Mainland China are inalienable parts of a single China. Taiwan is viewed as a wayward province, to be brought under its control by force eventually, if necessary.

On Saturday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing in Beijing, “We urge the new administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and to continue pursuing the one China policy,” Reuters reported. Hua called the policy the “political foundation” of future relations between the United States and China. She also reiterated China’s position on the South China Sea, saying the United States should not meddle in issues of China’s sovereign territory.

(4) Mexico. Despite all the abuse that Trump has heaped on Mexico, the country’s President Enrique Peña Nieto said on Friday that he wanted to strengthen relations with Trump, whose attacks against the country raised fears of a major economic crisis and battered its currency. Trump said on Sunday that he will begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during scheduled meetings with Peña Nieto (on January 31) and with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

(5) Japan. The new Trump administration said on Friday that its trade strategy to protect American jobs would start with withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that he believes Trump understands the value of free trade, but that he will pursue deepening the President’s understanding of the TPP pact’s strategic and economic importance.

Dr. Ed Yardeni is the President of Yardeni Research, Inc., a provider of independent global investment strategy research.

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Love him or hate him, Trump’s in-your-face wheeler-dealer style continues to pay off.
donald trump, jobs, style, dealer
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 08:57 AM
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