Trump – One Year On | Khaos Control Cloud

It’s a year since Donald Trump’s shock victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, so what has The Donald achieved? And what will the rest of his term bring? We’ll consider both with a focus on the economy, for where America as the world’s largest economy leads, the UK usually follows. Which matters for Khaos Control Cloud users, whether they’ve just started their journey with us, or not.

What Trump’s done

Americans didn’t just choose a president last Autumn, they selected a third of the Senate and all the House of Representatives. Given the Republicans emerged victorious at all three levels, and agreement between them is necessary to get laws passed, commentators believed Trump was on the cusp of passing large chunks of his agenda. But this underplayed Republican divisions. Time and again over 2017, we’ve seen Trump’s Republican opponents, such as Senator and onetime presidential candidate, John McCain, act as a party within a party that’s not always toed the line.

The takeaway is that Obamacare hasn’t been repealed, a vast $1 trillion infrastructure bill hasn’t been passed and not a brick has been laid of the U.S.-Mexican border wall. Tax cuts could be on the way, but they’ll be some way removed from Trump’s original vision, given Democratic support will be necessary to enact them.

But there are powers reserved to the president, such as withdrawal from treaties and directing military options as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, where he is free to act without Congressional approval. And act Trump has. In his capacity as the head of the Executive branch, Trump has presided over a Federal hiring freeze, deregulation and U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Keystone XL oil pipeline is back on track, the clock is ticking till the U.S. leaves the Paris Climate Accord in 2020 and NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, is up for renegotiation.

Then there’s the power of the bully pulpit. With a speech, or perhaps tweet, Trump as president commands an instant audience, shifting perceptions and setting the agenda. That’s done much to talk up the economy, propelling the U.S. stock market to all-time highs, while also disorientating America’s enemies. States like North Korea may become more compliant, unwilling to test how far he’ll go.

What does this amount to?

Trump - One Year OnThe world hasn’t tumbled off its axis and fallen into the sun. Fears that Trump would rip up the Constitution, and disregard democratic norms, haven’t materialised. While his Administration has been rocked by an abnormal level of organisational chaos, with positions slow to be filled and staff quick to leave them, the American system, which has withstood civil and world war and depression, has so far withstood Trump. The system will survive Trump, not Trump the system.

It’s not the first time a politician’s promises have collided with reality. When considering the change presidents can make, it’s best to couch it in terms of a super-tanker changing course by degrees, not reversing altogether.

So, look beyond the tweets, ignore the controversy and we’re left with a standard Republican Administration. It’s hardnosed with military force abroad, liberal on the economy with tax and regulatory cuts, and conservative on social matters. All course corrections have been modest.

In line with market expectations – demonstrated by the soaring stock market – a standard Republican Administration probably means a robust economy with low unemployment and rising wages. And as the American tide rises, all boats, including the UK, will be lifted. Speedy agreement of a UK-U.S. trade deal after Brexit will help.

Dangerous bends ahead

But most of this is built on air, the promise of economic reform, not its reality. Market sentiment could easily turn if Trump’s tax cuts don’t get passed, are judged puny if passed, or an infrastructure bill doesn’t happen. And there are other headwinds:

Altogether, this adds up to an initially buoyant U.S. economy whose growth will stall if mounting challenges, from an uncooperative Congress to a new Korean war, aren’t overcome or avoided. We came to a similar judgement last year, but believe there’s now less road to run before conditions sour.

As for Trump himself, ignoring surface bluster, looking only at the laws he’s passed, we think he’s acted as a run of the mill Republican that’s encountered the usual obstacles getting his agenda through. We don’t expect this to change in 2018, or after. And we expect public perception to shift as this becomes more apparent. Trump will be viewed as less crazy, less dangerous and more as a mild reformer.

Whatever the future brings, know that smart entrepreneurs are choosing Khaos Control Cloud, the business partner that’s there for you, from start-up to success! Start your journey with us today.


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