Megan Cassella reports in Politico on the dread among the global trade elites of the possibility that Republican nominee Donald Trump could be president.
Donald Trump has officials in this world capital of trade running scared.
Faced with the prospect of a U.S. president who pledges to rip up trade agreements, slap tariffs on allies and pull out of the World Trade Organization, top trade officials are in various states of denial and dread.
Some attending a WTO meeting this week consoled themselves the populist billionaire couldn’t really win the election — “though after Brexit, nothing can be ruled out,” warned Jonathan Peel, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee.
Others say they doubt Trump “really means what he says” about trade agreements, as one high-ranking official here put it.
A few cling to the hope that even if he were elected and tried to deliver on his pledges, he would be stymied by Congress, the courts or other impediments. “Policy has to be built on reality, and if you are elected, you cannot disregard reality — not even Trump,” said another official.
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