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January 8, 2017

On January 20, 2017 Change Your Watches to "Trump Time"

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry

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No matter where they stand on the results of the latest American presidential election, all political and public observers agree that on January 20, 2017 the world will enter an unprecedented new time-zone … Trump Time.

And they differ widely – about as widely as one can imagine – about what the next four years of Trump Time will look like.

The divisive and uncertain climate leading up to Donald Trump’s uncontested inauguration later this month is an entirely understandable phenomenon.

It’s the first time someone totally outside the political sphere has ever become leader of the most powerful country on earth.

Even previous “celebrity” US presidents came to office with identifiable political connections and backgrounds. But not Donald Trump.

Yet this renegade business magnate, with an apparent addiction to Twitter and politically incorrect verbiage, has promised to excel over experienced career politicians in solving both national and international problems. Can we believe this untested bravado?

Pessimists are saying that nothing short of World War III could be worse for the entire world than a Trump-led administration in Washington.

Optimists hope to see drastic improvements and change ahead for everyone, starting with Americans. I belong to the second group.

Here are my top 10 predictions for Trump’s inaugural term of office, 2017-2020.

1. Israel will be forced to stop building new settlements in disputed territories and will finally sit down to talk with the Palestinian leadership.

This would be a small but significant step toward a permanent solution; one that the Obama administration failed to achieve, despite eight years of trying.

2. Fewer American companies will be allowed to leave the US without threat of severe penalties, resulting in more jobs saved at home.

This is a major new game plan and is already happening. During recent presidential terms, including the past eight years, Americans have seen tens of thousands of key manufacturing jobs disappear into the cheaper and less-regulated labor pools of Mexico, China and Malaysia. Trump has threatened to slap a 35% across-the-board import tax on American-designed goods manufactured abroad and re-imported into the US, the largest and richest market in the world. This includes cars, cell phones and numerous other consumer goods.

American companies are expected to take Trump’s threat seriously and, as Ford has just done, reverse current and future plans to outsource American jobs abroad.

This move is expected to have a huge impact on America’s social and economic fabric, beginning with the stabilization of rising unemployment numbers. And with its historically close economic ties to the US, Canada can only win in such a scenario.

3. As a result of prediction No. 2, unemployment rates among the traditional blue-collar sector, the working poor, and black Americans will decrease.

4. Standards of living in chronically depressed and socially vulnerable American inner cities will rise, also as a result of prediction No. 2. 

5. Predictions 3 and 4 go hand-in-hand with the outcome of reduced crime rates among black and Hispanic Americans, along with fewer police shootings of poor, disadvantaged, and/or non-white citizens.

6. Trump will follow through on his promise to maintain investments in clean energy – not primarily because he believes in climate change (he doesn’t) – but because any political gain he’d achieve by reducing or canceling existing government clean energy programs would be minimal.

7. Trump has promised to focus on resolving a wide range of European, Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific issues through direct negotiation with national and global stakeholders and super-powers.

While he’s unlikely to score a win on every file, his chances could be better than those of the Obama administration, whose chilly relationship with Russia made situations worse on the ground in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other global conflict areas.

8. Trump will convince China to increase the value of its currency, another effort in which the Obama administration failed.

This will create a more balanced world economy, resulting in more manufacturing jobs, not only for North America, but also in many stagnant or emerging national economies.

9. Trump has promised to replace “Obama Care” with a less costly and more sustainable national health insurance plan, whose details are admittedly vague at the moment.

But as a businessman, he might demonstrate innovation in forging a system that will involve private insurance companies, while offering similar benefits for more people. It will be difficult, but not impossible.

10. Under a Trump administration, terror crimes in the US (and perhaps internationally) will decrease as a result of improved and stronger security measures, tougher border controls, and the investment of more funds in combatting mental health problems across America, especially among war veterans.

My presidential predictions may read like a grocery-list of wishful and unrealistic thinking, especially to liberals of all political stripes in the US, Canada and the world.

But they will stand as a good reference for the record as we embark – like it or not – on the heady new era of Trump Time.

After all, only a few months ago, I offered 10 reasons why Donald Trump and his Republicans would win the US presidential election.

And they did.

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