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Why Trump’s Agenda Will Unfold Slower Than Most Investors Think

Is it time to pump the brakes a bit?

Image via Rupert Ganzer/Flickr CC

Donald Trump is not going to change much.

In a recent video interview, John Mauldin highlights that President Trump is likely to continue with his rapid-fire tweets and orders. Mauldin argues that this kind of media seeking behavior is Trump’s modus operandi, and he expects to see more of the same over the next few months.

In the video, Mauldin reviewed his recent trip to Washington, DC—which you can also read about here—to see Trump’s inauguration and to talk to his sources about what to expect out of the new administration.

The first point Mauldin makes is that we really don’t have much insight yet into Trump’s plans because the plans are still being made. He notes that Trump’s cabinet still has a few unfilled positions, and that “things are going to happen a little slower than some people might think.”

Mexico President Pena Nieto Cancelled Meeting Due to Internal Pressures

In response to Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and the possible impact on the economic sector, John noted that he feels the “State Department Sherpas” can likely get some trade deals inked.

On the subject of Mexico, Mauldin argues that President Pena Nieto’s cancelling a meeting with Trump was more about internal political pressures than Trump’s actions. He notes that being seen as working with Trump will hurt Pena Nieto, so he is almost forced into “standing up” to Trump.

In terms of trade talks, Mauldin notes that both sides digging in their heels for political reasons “doesn’t bode very well for a future relationship.”

Serious Concerns about Peter Navarro as New Trade Czar

Mauldin also offers the intriguing suggestion that Trump could be using hardline Peter Navarro as a “negotiating chip” to produce trade concessions from China and others. In other words, Trump might well drop Navarro in a few months and replace him with a more moderate trade czar.

Trump is well known for thinking a few moves ahead as a part of the ”art of the deal,” so don’t be too shocked if Navarro (the author of Death by China) ends up back at Cal Irvine in a few months.

By the same token, Navarro as the head of the new National Trade Council does worry Mauldin: “ …if Peter Navarro is the real deal, and he is the face of trade policy, that concerns me a lot.”

Next 90 Days Will Provide More Insight into Trump’s Plans

Mauldin concludes by noting it is too early to draw firm conclusions about Trump’s foreign policy or tax policy or any policy right now. He points out that currently “we don’t know what 90% of the legislation is going to look like.”

According to Mauldin, it will take 60 to 90 days before we have a solid idea of what Trump intends to do in key policy areas.

Mauldin also promised readers of Thoughts from the Frontline (subscribe here for free) an updated forecast for 2017 in May.

Watch the full interview with John Mauldin (10:23) below.

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