I appreciate this article, drawing as it does on the broad knowledge of Brookings, to put what we see in front of us in balance.
I find that nowadays, there is less and less thoughtful analysis about Things Trump. The world seems divided between those who have felt disenfranchsed by the globalist status quo over decades, and those who cannot separate the policies of the President from his rhetoric, which enrages them.
Mr. Trump’s policy preferences are, for the most part, vanilla GOP policies; they are items which have been wildly popular with the GOP base for not just this election season, but for some time. There is nothing surprising about a GOP president who wants to appoint conservative justices, lower taxes, reform the corporate tax code (even Democrats wanted to do that, under Mr. Obama), lower regulations on business, and enforce strict border control; every Presidential candidate on the GOP runs on these principles; I suppose what’s surprising is that Mr. Trump didn’t just promise them then forget them; he promised them and executed on them. But it’s hard to remember a GOP candidate that *didn’t* run on these things.
The outlier is his trade policy, which previously has only been popular in the union-centric wing of the Democrats, and the Ron Paul wing of the GOP. It’s heterodox to be sure, and it’s difficult to judge, since trade policies which raise GDP (and hence can be called “good for the economy”) can also put negative pressure on worker wage and employment. It’s a risky proposition to be sure, but time will tell, since the die seems to be cast.
Personally, I believe that the relationships between these counterparties is too long and too multifaceted to be put at serious risk by one man. The world knows that they need endure no more than 2–6 more years of Mr. Trump, and after that, the US will again elect a more docile sort which does not threaten the global status quo to the same extent.
Get popcorn, sit back, and watch. Should be interesting. It HAS been interesting. :-)