Hard or soft Trump? Ex-WTO head Lamy sees trade re­al­i­ties trumping rhetoric

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

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

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