Letter to America

Dear President Trump

I congratulate you on your installation as President. Your vision  to create more jobs, revitalise US infrastructure, boost US take home pay and inject more life into  US economic leadership is a bold one. We in the UK are also embarked on a similar task as we leave the EU. We too need to build more roads, railways, bridges, energy plants and water supply facilities. We too need to make more things for ourselves and import less to narrow our trade gap. Our two countries can indeed trade with each other more, as ours is a fair trade with a reasonable balance of imports and exports for each party.

Your proposals to produce more realistically priced energy will help restore your manufactures. Cheap energy is a vital part of a flourishing industry. Your plans to cut corporate and individual tax rates will energise entrepreneurs, spawn more investments, and allow people to keep and spend more of their earnings. That in turn creates demand which generates more jobs.  The USA in recent years has pioneered much of the digital revolution and has done well in creating more companies and jobs in technology, but has suffered from Chinese, German and Mexican imports of industrial goods which could have been made more extensively in the USA.  Tax reform, cheaper energy, a better regulatory climate and a President who supports manufacturing will make a difference.

Both the USA and the UK could benefit from an early free trade agreement between our own two countries. Fair trade  which results in a sensible balance between the trading parties can enrich and enhance both sides. If our two countries  draw one up and sign it, it will show the world that the USA is not afraid of fair trade, and it will put more weight behind the UK’s intention to be an even more successful  world trading nation open for business globally.

I was pleased to read you are planning a summit in due course with Mr Putin. The West has made mistakes in recent years with its military interventions in the Middle East. Some carefully planned joint working with Russia which also has a presence and diplomatic interests there might help achieve the important but more limited objective you have set in combatting ISIS. Past policy has suffered from conflicting and ambitious aims which have resulted in all too many civil and religious wars in the region.

The UK and the US can make common cause to strengthen NATO for our mutual defence. As one of the few countries that does hit the minimum 2% GDP target for defence spending, the UK is a natural ally in your campaign to get all NATO members to spend at least the minimum. If I tried only paying a portion of the insurance premium I owe to insure my home the insurance company would cancel the cover. Why are countries that want their allies support any different if there is a minimum? The EU does not allow its members to pay a lower subscription, and none of our EU friends short change the Commission.

I am pleased our Prime Minister will visit on Friday. There is plenty of scope to increase our joint working on intelligence, defence, trade, economic policy and general foreign policy. I wish you every success in tackling the problems in the USA that you have identified.

Yours etc

 

 

 

 

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47 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Ever thought of a letter to our own PM who by report now says she is going to intervene more in Industry? Yippee-ki-yay–As I said last year, if she is a Conservative I am a giraffe

  2. Mark B
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Tax reform, cheaper energy, a better regulatory climate . . .

    Those are very Thatcherite policies, and I applaud them. 🙂

    China has grown because of the abundance of low skilled, low wage workers, cheap energy (it is building power stations at an alarming rate), low regulations (its smog and other forms of regulation make its easier for unscrupulous businesses to work there) make it far more competitive and able to undercut the West and others on price.

    Killing the Climate Change SCAM will free the USA and, hopefully, will encourage our useless lot to follow suit.

    I am a strong believer in competition, but that competition has to be fair.

    Trade agreements with the USA, Australia, China, Canada and many many others would be the final nail in the EU coffin.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I hope our Prime Minister and the US President can can form a mutually beneficial working relationship.

    Whilst they appear to be totally different characters, with different ways of working through their policies, both are very determined politicians.

    The one thing they both have in common is 4 years to prove they are capable of delivering what they promised to the electorate.

    They may then have the opportunity to get themselves re-elected again.

    • zorro
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Dear Alan,

      Understatement of the year…. ‘with different ways of working through their policies’ ?…. in reality, one clearly stated them in his ‘manifesto ‘ (not that the BBC could be bothered to read it instead of virtue signaling) and has started from day one in implementing them ??, and another whose dithering will eventually see an intention letter served (maybe) nine months sfter a popular expression of the sovereign will!!

      zorro

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Good that Trump receives this to counter the BBC doom and gloom reports. He shouldn’t have to rely solely on Messrs Farage, Banks for upbeat news from over here.

  5. margaret
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning Mr Cooke. Trump is so disliked . I wonder if this will cause barriers not bridges between Countries. I hope not .Mrs May, I am sure will be able to cope and be firm where she thinks he is wrong.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Radio 4 this morning seems to be rather excited that the government is offering business some carrots (instead of a stick for a change). Why can BBC reporters never understand that the only carrots the government have are ones stolen off the productive in the first place, then usually wasted or misdirected by them? Just leave the carrots where they are.

    • BobE
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Agreed

  7. Amanda
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood.

  8. Bert Young
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Its a good letter and highlights the important issues between ourselves and the USA . Trump is no fool ; his background illustrates his determination and single-mindedness in pursuing his ambition ; it is this resolve that ought to have a boosting effect to the economy and industry of the USA .

    Theresa has a challenge on Friday and , with luck and vision supporting her , she will secure a continuing good relationship . Having a trade deal with the USA will flag to others that we will do well . The EU will read into this what they will , but the bottom line is they need to put their house in order . Bureaucracy – and all aspects of its establishment ,is a thing of the past .

  9. Peter Gardner
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    You compare the concept of NATO defence with insurance. Valid up to a point. Take the Falkland Islands – in which victory I took part in 1982. UK is now almost irretrievably committed to defend the islands while, when I last checked through questions in parliament only 3 Falkland islanders joined the armed forces. My own view is that having shown the world that unwelcome invasions by force will be repelled, the islanders should have been told that a permanent commitment by UK is disproportionate, so either take £1 million per head to move to UK or accept some form of sovereignty under Argentina. Why should British forces pay the price in blood and treasure for the freedom of people who will not make an effort themselves?

    The 2% figure of NATOs is a rough minimum. Cameron only achieved it by an accounting fudge, with no real change in defence expenditure other than continuing the general long term decline. The correct level of expenditure is that required by a coherent defence and security strategy – which the UK lacks – to fund the armed force element of that strategy.

    • katie millington
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Well said Peter Gardner,my own sentiments exactly.

  10. stred
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Dear President Trump,

    Thanks for allowing debate about climate change and the effect on the economy caused by rushed and wrong policies. If you run into flak from the green subsidy miners you could ask well qualified German scientists to point out the errors.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Vahrenholt

    • sjb
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Scientists confident of their research methods publish their work in professional journals. Anyone can write a book.

      • libertarian
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        sjb

        Sadly too many scientists have been caught fiddling their data, and a lot of “peer review” professional journals dont in actual fact review, they publish, just like books

  11. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Oh, wow. What a great letter. I particularly like the reference to cheaper energy which is what the UK is crying out for. The grid is creaking under the strain at the moment because of the light winds and cold weather. We all wish Mr Trump well and I sincerely hope he proves all those that had no faith in him wrong especially the BBC. The reporting and continual slagging off has been disgusting. Some of our politicians haven’t been much better either and this is the man we have to try and do business for to better our chances in the world after Brexit. Just about sums up the true nature of some.

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Trump needs to follow your advice on how to bolster America’s trade. As you say it is not protectionist policies he needs to follow but instead to create an environment that allows the USA’s businesses to compete successfully with foreign companies. You point out many ways that he and also the UK can achieve that. However they are fraught will difficulties because of the misguided objections of the likes of trade unions, environmentalists and other left wing groups. Their concerns should not be disregarded but they should not be allowed to disrupt progress towards making a better business environment in the way they do currently.

    Better relations with all nations is a goal worth pursuing even the unpalatable ones . NATO is an important part of that process as only through strength can meaningful dialogue take place and aggression be deterred. That strength is weakened if not all parties to NATO are contributing equally according to their means and are not all singing from the same hymn book. A weakness that can and is exploited. Trump can address the problem of the contribution which he appears intent on doing. However achieving a common approach to foreign relations considering the disparity of thinking amongst Western leader is often difficult. A USA UK special relationship has and can promote unity of action more effectively. So T May’s meeting on Friday with Trump may well pave the way for that to happen.

  13. formula57
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    There needs to be added to“The UK and the US can make common cause to strengthen NATO for our mutual defence” at least the words: –

    “by redefining its contemporary purpose to exclude adventurism and by excluding unreliable states, some of whom are made more belligerent by supposing they will be rescued by fellow members.”

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, Lord Green of Deddington has an article here:

    http://brexitcentral.com/william-hagues-proposal-issuing-work-permits-eu-nationals-simplistic-effective/

    about Hague’s proposal for EU immigration that I mentioned here:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/01/15/the-eu-wants-to-hang-on-to-our-money/#comment-852225

    “If the requirement to have a job offer were to have any effect, it is likely to be only small and temporary. Anyone with access to the internet can apply for jobs in the UK, and we have already seen how easily recruiters can advertise in other countries as well as examples of employers themselves flying out to Eastern Europe to recruit staff.

    It is true that the OECD project that Eastern Europe’s wealth will increase in the coming twenty years – but they do not anticipate any convergence in wages between the UK and the countries of Eastern Europe.

    It is surely now clear that the primary draw for potential migrants from Europe is the availability of employment at much higher wages in the UK than at home … ”

    “The disparities are huge. The minimum wage in Poland is currently equivalent to £362 a month (1,826 Polish Zloty) compared to three and a half times that amount (£1,308 a month) in the UK. The minimum wage in Romania is £200 a month (1,043 Romanian Leu).”

    It isn’t necessary to ascribe any bad motives to migrants from eastern Europe, that kind of economic driving force is enough to explain why such large numbers have exercised the right to come and work here which was granted to them by our politicians.

  15. English Pensioner
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’d agree with all that you say. It appears to me that the reason why so many people are violently objecting to Trump as President is that he has shown throughout his campaign that he is not easily pushed by the numerous pressure groups which make a lot of noise by actually represent a very small number of people.
    This is the same as in Britain, so many trivial matters are blown up into national issues when the numbers affected are minimal. As a result, parliament is often seen as a place to air trivial grievances rather than where statesmen debate matters of national importance.
    Trump, I suspect, will have little time for such people and will concentrate on what is important. People are fed up with career politicians who support every trendy cause and want to be nice to everyone rather than telling the truth and trying to make real changes.

    • zorro
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Well said sir!

      zorro

  16. Mick
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Just been watching Sky news and it had the plumber Mullins and some guy from a London college called grayling being interviewed what a pair of muppets, they want to get in the real world the referendum as finished and you LOST so don’t dare try and overturn it otherwise you will open up one big can of worms, if these remoaners don’t want to live in a free democratic country or anyone else who cannot except the result then pack your bags and go live in Europe bye bye you’ll not be missed

  17. Chris
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Excellent letter, and so constructive.
    I have just started reading “Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America” by David Horowitz (“New York Times author). It is fascinating and exciting, and the chapter on The Achilles Heel of the Democratic Party is, I think, essential reading for those who are so bothered by the antics and violence and illiberalism of “the Progressives”.

    I had no idea that Trump made a major proposal for regeneration of the inner cities where Democrats have long held power, by a “New Deal” for African Americans and other inner city dwellers. There were 3 promises:
    1) for law and order leading to safer communities;
    2) for a 130 billion dollar scholarship program for high quality education;
    3) for high paying jobs, “which a safe environment and good education would go a long way toward making possible”.
    These Trump vouchers are to provide each inner city child with a tuition of 12,000 dollars “which is approximately equivalent to the average tuition in tax-payer dollars already available to send children to public schools that don’t teach them”.

    I do not remember the media reporting any of this. The media always claimed that Trump did not have any policies. He did indeed have policies but the media chose to ignore them and focus on things that suited their agenda of apparently smearing and ridiculing him.

    Trump has achieved a lot already and, I believe, could go on to do great things. The UK will do well if it rapidly adapts to changing circumstances and if it removes those naysayers who refuse to adapt (and that might mean May’s closest advisors, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who were apparently so scathing of Trump and ignorant of the US political scene).

  18. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Also, Trump’s vision won’t change USA dramatically.
    He isn’t addressing USA’s real problem: it is socially broken (lack of respect towards employers, employees, parents, authorities).
    Trump thinks being authoritarian is the answer. Short-term maybe. Long-term, disaster (e.g. Mussolini / Italy).
    He lacks comprehensive vision. Lacks the ability to inspire and unite above all in focusing on the family (strong country depends on this) and on uniting the country.

    The country needs to return to moral and ethical values. Not right-wing authoritarianism (nor social liberal authoritarianism).

    • libertarian
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      Ha ha ha …. have you ever been to the United States?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 27, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        @Libertarian,

        Yes, i worked and travelled around there for 2 and half months during university vacation. Had an amazing time. Also spent a week there on a work trip as well which was interesting. So, yes, i’ve been to America ..

  19. Anthony Makara
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Let us hope that President Trump will use fair trade with the UK as the start of building a global trade bloc for hard currency economies. Western consumers may have benefited from dirt cheap imports from the BRIC economies but a higher price has been paid in the loss of jobs and the stagnant wages of the bloated service sector. We need to rebalance our economy, to rebuild manufacturing, exports and good wages and a hard currency trading bloc is the only way to achieve this.

  20. Richard W
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “We too need to make more things for ourselves and import less to narrow our trade gap. Our two countries can indeed trade with each other more […]”

    These two statement directly contradict each other.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Richard W

      “These two statement directly contradict each other”

      Er no they dont, not in the multifaceted real world

    • zorro
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      How big is the cake? Don’t forget, it can get bigger ?

      zorro

  21. rose
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Very good and a welcome antidote to the coverage we are getting from the MSM.

    The worst example of broadcasters’ bias recently was the subsequent omission of the White House press officer’s admonition of the TIME reporter’s “reckless” lie that the MLK bust had been removed. This could have sparked the worst riot we have seen yet, and justified a robust and timely correction. So the broadcasters subsequently left that whole bit out and concentrated on arguing about crowd size, all to ramp up the numbers on the streets.

  22. Mactheknife
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I think Trump is good news for Britain as you point out. I actually think he’s good news for politics in general if he sticks with his agenda. Cheaper energy is key to our success, but unless the government is prepared to ditch the Climate Change Act and suffer the wrath of the eco brigade then I fear no progress will be made and the PM’s new strategy will hit the buffers before it gets any traction.

  23. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what we can sell the US that they don’t buy already. He’s going to expand infrastructure spending. I know, high speed trains – hang on though, we gave up on that when the government decided all those decades ago when we had a good start that there was no future in it. But then they might be short of steel at first. Oh but we have to import ours. Tunnelling equipment? No that’s German.

    Maybe he’ll let us open a nationwide chain of Ye Olde English Tea Shoppes. I wonder what he’ll demand in return. The opening up of our market to American beef products maybe?

    And it’s no good Mrs May banging on about supporting new industries here in her ‘industrial strategy’ if as soon as they get going they are handed to City spovs to sell off to foreigners, like the Americans, or Japanese who are only too happy to take advantage of our short-sightedness and desperation for cash.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Prangwizard

      Well we could continue to sell them mobile phone and tablet components, we could sell them advanced medical devices , we sell nuclear reactor parts, pharmaceuticals , cigarettes, electrical machinery and advanced optics among many others things, and thats before we start on the even more lucrative services market.

      Trade happens between buyers and sellers , just because a product is made in a country doesn’t mean that customers want to buy it when there are better products about

  24. Juliet
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Inauguration of President Trump has stabilise some of the noise in Europe and Mrs May and Mr Trump look aligned on industrial strategy for UK and US

  25. Ross
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    ‘As one of the few countries that does hit the minimum 2% GDP target for defence spending…’ – if you include war pensions, MOD civil servant pensions and MOD income; all things we’re allowed to count by NATO, but not things any reasonable person would say actually contribute to the current and future defence of the country. If we excluded these things, as we always used to, and counted expenditure on actual service personnel, their equipment and their training, we would fall some way short.

    Meanwhile, we have a single division ‘capable’ of major combat operations, which we’re not even sure we could successfully move off Salisbury Plain, which we probably wouldn’t want to use anyway because what would we do if it got destroyed, which relies entirely on allies to cover several important gaps in its capabilities, which is undermanned and using increasingly etiolated equipment… And that’s just the Army.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right.You only have to compare the vast capabilities the Russians have for their defence spending with what we get for ours to realise something is amiss.

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I watched the full inauguration speech (not the biased highlights the BBC put out) and agree with everything he said apart from his affection for the Christian God and the supposed religious references. I guess it would be hard to win in the US if you were pointing out to the Bible belt that their own version of medieval superstition is just as silly as all the other ones.
    Apart from that all sounded good.
    Things you are not giving emphasis John 1 his clear patriotism 2 his clear intent to sort out immigration 3 his promise to wipe Islamic terrorists off the face of the earth 4 he clear intent to bring jobs back to the USA and cut down on international outsourcing etc. All of these are fair enough in my view, and would be a welcome refreshing change from the UK political cloud.
    I hope he does a good job.
    I hope this post is short and infrequent enough for you : )

  27. getahead
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Well said John.

  28. Richard1
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I am much enjoying the outraged anguish of leftists at Mr Trump’s election, even though i can understand the objections to much of what he has said and how he has conducted himself. But he has some sensible ideas. It’s striking talking to US business people – many were reticent at declaring support for Trump for fear of being branded racist, but dreaded Hillary Clinton’s planned tax rises. The Obama administration was clearly and correctly viewed as deeply anti-business. If Mr Trump changes that attitude, reforms tax, dumps much green crap, avoides confused and useless interventions in the Middle East and pursues sensible trade policy rather than protectionism there is every chance he will be a success.

    Meanwhile the attitude of the likes of Martin Wolf in the FT, Matthew Parris in the Spectator – and of course the whole of the political left in the U.K. And Europe – is just extraordinary – to say or think anything positive about Trump is unconscionable. Pope Francis has a better take in it – let’s at least give the man a chance.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May can thank Brexiteers for saving her with Trump. She must avoid lecturing him.

    • zorro
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I do hope that she does a good job on Friday. My one fear is that she genuflects/virtue signals to try and appeal to the PC crowd to show how ‘tough’ she is before Trump. That is my main worry, apart from having great difficulty in seeing them together. Talj about chalk and cheese!! I predict that it will look strange…..

      zorro

  30. treacle
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I keep on reading that Mrs May has said that she will not be afraid to remonstrate with President Trump over his sexist views when he meets him in a few days’ time. I don’t see how this could possibly be in our national interest. It is bad enough that a debate was held in Parliament on whether Donald Trump should be banned from the UK. There is no need now to throw further fuel onto the fire. His (supposed) views on women are nothing to do with us, and Mrs May should not be afraid to say so.

    • rose
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      I don’t remember “views on women” disqualifying Kennedy, LB Johnson, Clinton, or Martin Luther King.

  31. norman
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Iain Gill – Oh, so you’re an atheist? That’s a religion too, you know, and has always led to disaster, including the present mess! Suggest you dig a little deeper. Sorry not to be P/C, and no offence meant 🙂

  32. Great Scot!
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Whatever trade deal Mr Trump may agree to, the problem will be selling it to an American people who have had their whole nation and Head of State grossly , methodically and ignorantly insulted by Mrs May, Chancellor Hammond, her Cabinet colleagues and those of all parties in the British Parliament.
    Having a British Parliamentary delegation visiting America must be similar for an American President to the feelings of Captain Cook when he first encountered aborigines in remote South Pacific islands. Mrs May and her team may well return to our island with a goatskin full of coloured beads as complete payment for selling Scotland to them. A bargain!

  33. Jamie
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, for such a powerful letter, bang on the money, Mr Nigel Farage could not of said it better.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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