US President-elect Donald Trump is like the moon. He reflects whatever light is cast upon him.
This helps explain the conflicting assessments offered by analysts and commentators who might otherwise be gravitating towards a consensus at this juncture in the transition to a new administration about the outlook on key policy files.
Stephen Blank, a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa, used Trump's promise to spend heavily on infrastructure to make an eloquent case for how Canada, Mexico and the US could work together to rebuild North America.
But that assumes Washington's new Republican super majority won't insist on renovating America with American steel and American engineers.
Trump’s call with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen was both a diplomatic catastrophe and a diplomatic masterstroke, depending on who you were listening to.
The OECD said on Nov. 28 that Trump’s policies would propel the United States to annualized economic growth of 3 percent in 2018, which would be the fastest in more than a decade.
The Bank of Canada isn’t so sure. “Uncertainty, which has been undermining business confidence and dampening investment in Canada’s major trading partners, remains undiminished,” the central bank said on Dec. 7.
We are in this state because Trump’s campaign was more performance art than job interview.
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