Trump's $1tn pledge sounds impressive but beware the small print

Photo of Trump's $1tn pledge sounds impressive but beware the small print

A word of caution: the president-elect’s infrastructure plans appear to rely on money he hopes other people will provide

American investors seem naively trusting of President-elect Trump’s economic plans. On one hand, they say those wild campaign pledges to slap stiff tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports in pursuit of the most protectionist US trade policy since the 1930s should not be taken too literally. On the other, they conclude that a Trump presidency definitely means heavy investment in infrastructure, which will be excellent news for all those suppliers of raw materials and equipment needed to upgrade roads, bridges, schools, tunnels, electricity networks and so on.

Both thoughts are understandable, of course. Even Trump has never been firm on the idea of 45% tariffs on China. It was a threat “if they don’t behave,” he said during one debate, “it doesn’t have to be 45%, it could be less”. Plenty of scope there to water down the policy.

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