When the US presidential delegate selection process is completed in mid-June, both political parties will have four weeks for internal debates about their platforms. The nominating conventions take place back to back: for the Republicans, it is July 18 to July 21; for the Democrats it is July 25 to July 28.
Some policy issues will be resolved decisively in their platforms, but most will be glossed over with generalities. When the conventions end, few will remember what the platforms include, but until then, the internal debates can be fratricidal. And, in the long run, today’s platform can become tomorrow’s policy.
The Republicans will acknowledge some of Donald Trump’s campaign promises (such as border security), but the remainder will likely echo past platforms: less government regulation, tax simplification and a pro-growth agenda.
Regarding international trade and investment, Mr Trump’s position is that the US has not negotiated “good deals”. So, the platform is likely to call for renegotiating current trade and investment arrangements and completing new ones, but with better outcomes. Call it globalisation with a winning hand.
Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders is already credited with moving Hillary Clinton in his direction (she is now against the Trans-Pacific Partnership), though Ms Clinton has cemented her status as the Democratic nominee.
The Democrat platform may also call for a review of current trade deals. The party will want to continue the government’s direct and indirect subsidies for favoured industries (such as alternative energy) and to reduce income inequality through labour regulations, cash transfers and tax increases for the rich. Interestingly, this could diminish private investment capital in US accounts – but it could create opportunities for international investors to buy what US citizens and enterprises can no longer afford.
Daniel Malachuk works with business and government leaders on global direct investment strategies. He has advised many of the world’s leading companies and served in the public sector as director of White House operations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org