Outlook for the United States
On his 10th visit to Davos, Anthony Scaramucci joked that it’s his first time with a food tester. With Donald Trump’s inauguration imminent, he will become the newest Assistant to the President of the United States – one of the most senior appointments in the White House. In an engaging interview, Scaramucci took the Forum’s 47th Annual Meeting participants around the world on issues of global concern.
While he was not speaking officially on behalf of the president-elect, Scaramucci shared with Annual Meeting participants that the US and China share common cause on many issues, and it is his desire that the world’s two largest economies should have a strong bilateral relationship. To the cynics and critics in the audience, he made clear, “we do not want a trade war.”
New Focus: Symmetrical Trade
Scaramucci rooted the trade discussion in a history lesson. He explained that, after World War II, the United States did two things to help global prosperity. First, it led and funded the Marshall Plan, which served to fortify Western democracy and create a common market. Second, he observed, “every trade deal since 1945 was ‘asymmetrical’.” He explained that this unequal trade permitted for US goods to be embargoed at foreign ports, while America opened its doors to imports from around the world – adding that such a strategy worked “phenomenally well” in that it helped promote global prosperity while reducing global conflict. Indeed, he added that the world has not seen a global conflict for 71 years.
Raising concern with the now-traditional construct, Scaramucci observed that, while this system of trade is now known as “free trade”, it is still “asymmetrical”. He explained that “all we are asking for is to find more symmetry in these trade agreements,” adding that the effect of past agreements has been to “hollow-out America” and “cripple America’s working class.”
Drawing the link to China, he said that “we want to have a phenomenal relationship with the Chinese,” adding that, if they believe in globalism, there is a need to find symmetry – and that the path to this would be through the American worker. Scaramucci noted that the goals of doing so are to create more purchasing power in America, leading to more consumption and more trade, peace and prosperity.
Scaramucci held that Trump is a man of peace who has the concerns that a father and grandfather would have for his own family and their futures. He recognized that some might be upset about “the tweeting,” but suggested that Trump’s ability to communicate directly with the people – via micro-media, above the heads of the mainstream media – serves as a strength and will continue to be a strength of his presidency.
On NATO and the EU
The Cold War efforts by NATO and the campaign to contain communism were “resoundingly successful,” said Scaramucci. He suggested, however, that today’s challenges are “less on combatting communism, and more on terrorism,” and that this should be reflected in the organization. He added that it seems clear that members not paying for their contractual engagements – here, NATO treaty obligations – should be made to pay. More broadly, he opined that NATO is working, but aspects of it are obsolete and need to be changed.
On the EU, Scaramucci explained that the president-elect is not advocating a break-up of the union. Rather, he recalled the original nature of Athenian democracy and its focus on providing representative rights of the working class and contrasted it with the view that “elites in Brussels” might not know what would be the right policies for people in Manchester.
Looking towards the new administration, Scaramucci suggested that the president will be a “great leader who can galvanise people.”
SOURCE: World Economic Forum