White House

President-elect has to choose between ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Trump: Consultant

Pascal Lamy: Trump has two options – ‘soft Trump’ or ‘hard Trump’

The President-elect will have to choose between pursuing a "Soft Trump" or a "Hard Trump" approach when he takes office in January, a former Director-General of the World Trade Organization has told CNBC.

Pascal Lamy explained to CNBC that the choice available to Donald Trump was what he described as "Hard Trump" - making good on his campaign promises, which could lead to a trade war with emerging market countries such as China and Mexico and even a developed region, such as Europe.

His other choice would be to rein in the rhetoric and follow a more open approach – coined "Soft Trump" by Lamy. The French political consultant said he believed Trump would opt for the latter approach given that is more aligned with what the bulk of his party wants.

"It would be very surprising if a serious majority in Congress goes against the interests of U.S. business. The interest of U.S. business is now more in the new economy than the old economy," Lamy told CNBC.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Although Trump generated significant support from parts of the population who believe they were victims of globalization, such as within the U.S.'s so-called "Rust Belt" areas, Lamy pointed out that this is no longer the engine of the country's growth.

"There is more value creation in Silicon Valley than there is in the Rust Belt," he claimed.

This balance of potential growth and therefore power between industries competing for different policies would push President-elect to take a "Soft Trump" approach, Lamy said.

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