Director of Client Relationships Responsible for the management & development of the easyMarkets client base as well the development of our IB partner program.

On November 8, Donald Trump shocked the world by seizing the presidential nomination from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Two weeks after the historic victory, Trump appears to be backtracking on some of his elaborate campaign promises, which included locking up Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

During a post-election interview on 60 Minutes, Trump was asked about his campaign promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton. The president-elect said he would think about it.

“I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt them. They’re good people, and I’m going to give you a good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together,” he said.[1]

That’s very different from the “lock her up” rhetoric that helped him win the Oval Office.

But that wasn’t the first promise the GOP candidate broke within a week of being elected. During the same 60 Minutes interview, he appeared no longer committed to fully repealing Obamacare. On the campaign trail, Trump was crystal clear about his plan to “completely repeal” the legislation “on day one” of his presidential administration.[2]

Trump has also conveniently left out any mention of tariffs on foreign goods or other protectionist policies that were at the heart of his presidential campaign. Additionally, his pledge to deport some 11 million immigrants quickly became a plan to deport only 2-3 million of them, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.[3] What’s more, Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States has completely disappeared from his website.

Depending on which side of the political divide you sit, Trump’s backtracking may be the most sensible revelation since he secured the presidential nomination. However, it also reveals the same underlying tendency that so many financial market experts feared in the GOP candidate – unpredictability. If Trump is already backtracking on his campaign goals, what’s stopping him from going down a completely different path after inauguration? Many in the political community are also wondering how much of Trump’s platform amounts to campaign rhetoric versus real policy objectives.

There may be a silver lining in all this. Since the election, Donald Trump and Vice Presidential running mate Mike Pence have already spoked to 31 foreign heads of state, plus the Secretary of the United Nations. This revelation came after a story published in the New York Times said foreign leaders were “scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump.” The fact that contact has been made eased some concerns that the Trump administration will be an isolationist regime.

Among the list of world leaders included the Prime Ministers of Canada, Australia, Denmark, Japan and India. Trump also spoke with the Presidents of China and several Latin American countries. He also engaged in dialogue with the Saudi and Qatari royal families.[4]

Trump apparently broke with protocol in contacting his global counterparts. Rather than coordinate the phone calls with the State Department, the president-elect had already spoken with several leaders before other levels of government even knew about it.[5]

The financial markets have been surprisingly upbeat since Trump’s election, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average setting all-time highs and the US dollar reaching its highest level against a basket of currencies since 2003. Experts warn that investors may have been overly optimistic about the impact of Trump’s proposed policies on the economy. To be fair, Trump  might probably have the backing he needs to reform the tax code, deregulate the financial markets and boost infrastructure spending, all of which were key elements of his campaign platform.

[1] Jason Easley (November 13, 2016). “Republicans Realize They’ve Been Had As Trump Breaks Promise To Lock Up Hillary Clinton.” Politicus USA.

[2] Zulekha Nathoo (November 12, 2016). “Trump appears to backtrack on Obamacare in 60 Minutes Interview.” CBC News.

[3] Jason Easley (November 13, 2016). “Republicans Realize They’ve Been Had As Trump Breaks Promise To Lock Up Hillary Clinton.” Politicus USA.

[4] Matthew Nussbaum (November 16, 2016). ‘Trump says he and Pence have talked to 32 foreign leaders. Here they are.” Politico.

[5] Lauren Said-Moorhouse (November 19, 2016). “What’s different about Donald Trump’s phone calls with world leaders?” CNN Politics.

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