John Redwood's Diary: Open letter to Mr Trump

Foreign Affairs & Security
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Rt Hon. John Redwood MP

 

Read the original article at John Redwood's Diary

Dear President elect

Congratulations on your election. As one of the few UK and European politicians who did not seek to interfere in the US election or seek to regale a little interested world with my views on the candidates, I can now say I was impressed by your wish to see more rapid economic growth with more jobs, higher incomes and lower taxes. I understand the wish of many in the USA to see the US make more things for herself, to enjoy rising living standards, and to benefit from a modernising and expansion of US utilities and transport systems.

Your tax reforms should generate more corporate income onshore, and more jobs and individual income. There will be a laffer effect, as more activity generates more revenue despite the lower rates of tax. You will doubtless be told this will be small or insignificant. I trust you will have good advice to make a sensible case so foolish forecasts of ballooning deficits are not used to thwart reasonable reforms. In the short term the tax breaks may well lower individual and corporate income tax receipts, but repatriating substantial sums from abroad could offset these early effects.

The large infrastructure programme can be substantially financed in the private sector, where the US has a tradition of user charges and tolls. This too will help keep down the debt and deficit consequences which will otherwise concern fiscal Conservatives. The right investment can help boost productivity, the way to higher real wages. Supporting more locally produced energy will also help boost jobs and manufacturing. These proposals need to be the cornerstone of the early actions of the new Administration, to use the political advantage of the election result for something which should draw support from across the divide, and which takes time to bear fruits for electors to see.

I was also interested to hear and read of your scepticism concerning past military interventions in the Middle East, just as I have been worried that my country has joined in common actions that have not left behind or helped create new stable regimes or bring about peace. I am sure you share many western concerns about the intents and actions of Russia, but it may well be better to draw Russia into dialogue as Mr Obama was seeking to do in recent days given some common ground on Islamic terrorism. There is war weariness and concern amongst many of us in the west about past military actions which have not left societies at peace with functioning governments.

I wish you every success in choosing good people to run your Administration, and in pursuing the path to prosperity and peace.

Yours sincerely

John Redwood