Last week, Frontier Strategy Group held a rapid response webinar on the US election outcomes. Executives from around the world joined the discussion, and participated in an interactive Q&A session.
Populist/nationalist sentiment has shocked the establishment in the world’s oldest democracy. White working-class, rural, and suburban voters expressed deep disaffection from America’s elites by turning out in force to support Donald Trump, a businessman with no previous government experience. With this election, the United States follows the path of Brexit and the trend toward backlash-driven volatility in government policy that FSG warned of in our Events to Watch in 2016 report last fall.
Donald Trump’s combative personality and thin policy knowledge will make him the most unpredictable president in American history. He comes to office owing nothing to the political establishment of either party. Indeed, much of Trump’s base propelled him to the presidency as a rebuke to the Republican party establishment as much as it was a repudiation of the Democratic party.
President Donald Trump may emphasize the more extreme views he voiced during the campaign, or shift to a more consistently moderate governing style. Regardless, Trump will be extremely disruptive in domestic policy given that some supporters expect him to overturn a number of established elements of the American social contract while others hope he will govern as a conventional Republican. Foreign relations will be fraught given Trump’s aversion to some longstanding aspects of America’s global leadership and the reluctance of many experienced foreign policy officials to serve under him. Confusion will reign in the media and among the world’s elites for weeks to come.
What does a Trump presidency mean for your emerging-markets business strategy? Click below to watch a recording of the webinar!