3. Free trade
Despite recent drama with Mexico, Trump has thus far moderated his most extreme trade rhetoric. In fact, 10 days after the election, my company was acquired by SDK, a $7 billion Japanese conglomerate. If the world believed that Trump was serious about starting a crazy trade war, this acquisition would not have closed. Also, Trump is using his personality to cajole American corporations to keep their businesses onshore, or to build new factories domestically. This is positive to the extent that these factories are competitive in the global market.
My huge worry is that Trump might not be able to resist making negotiations of bilateral trade agreements into a reality show that plays out in public. Free trade is essential for a functioning global economy, and Trump must not (intentionally or unintentionally) start a trade war. GMM supplies nonstick coatings to every major American housewares manufacturer, and more than 90 percent of these goods in our $9 billion industry are made overseas due to suffocating pricing pressure from American retailers like Wal-Mart. Capitalism means not interfering with market pricing, and a trade war would be catastrophic to large and small U.S. companies, trade partners and, most importantly, the U.S. middle-class consumer.
Trump is nothing if not an expert in construction, and I applaud his effort to update woefully outdated American roads, bridges and public transport systems. It will be nice to see American dollars being used domestically for services that every community needs. Beyond this, if Trump can avoid misbegotten wars that cost the United States trillions of dollars, maybe we can actually pay for this infrastructure initiative without further pressuring the budget.
5. Term limits
Trump campaigned on setting firm term limits for senators and congressmen, and he really deserves credit for this act of political courage. Given the miserably low approval rating of Congress, is there any sane U.S. citizen who actually would oppose this? The problem is, term limits require a constitutional amendment, and the votes of the very people whose careers will be (hopefully) cut short. I hope there is a groundswell of support for this truly necessary amendment that would reduce corruption and systemic misalignment of interests.
As stated earlier, I harbor massive fears about Trump on many issues (such as health care, education, immigration and science). By the end of 2017, if Trump isn't being a president for all citizens economically and socially, I will happily gear up for the 2018 midterms to try and flip Congress. But at this early stage, I caution those who oppose Trump from protesting too much on every small issue. This behavior can backfire, shielding him from necessary criticism on the large issues, because voters will become desensitized. So for now, I only wish success to our new president, and I remind him that America is great under President Trump, not because of him but because it's always been and always will be.
— By Ravin Gandhi, CEO and founder of GMM Nonstick Coatings and a member of the CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network. Gandhi is also a VC investor and has invested in technology companies KeyMe, Ampsy, Tred, Lettrs and Hester Biosciences. Follow him on Twitter @RavinGandhi1.
CNBC and YPO have formed an exclusive editorial partnership consisting of regional "Chief Executive Networks" in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These Chief Executive Networks are made up of a sample of YPO's global network of 24,000 top executives from 120 countries who are on the front lines of the economy and run companies that collectively generate $6 trillion in annual revenue.