Hard or soft Trump? Ex-WTO head Lamy sees trade realities trumping rhetoric
US President-elect Donald Trump will have little choice but to adopt a softer line on trade than the one he has flagged during his campaign, although flare-ups with some partners are likely, former WTO chief Pascal Lamy said. With financial markets wondering whether Britain will opt for a hard or soft Brexit, Lamy said that there was a similar scenario for trade under a Trump presidency.
“If I look at Trump and trade, the big question is whether soft Trump or hard Trump. I think there are elements on both sides,” Lamy, who headed the World Trade Organization from 2005 to 2013, told Reuters in an interview. “Overall if I had to bet I would bet more on soft Trump,” he added, noting that stock market gains since Trump’s election suggested investors were making a similar calculation.
Lamy, now an honorary president of the proEU Delors Institute, said in an interview that a Republican-dominated Congress would help ensure the Trump administration would not do anything bad for US companies. —Reuters