Whatever his past rhetoric, President-elect could be positive for business.

Get a grip out there. There is a distinct possibility that - however distasteful and ethically challenged Donald Trump appears - his presidency may turn out to be good for business.

It was inevitable that a Trump victory would send "the markets" into kneejerk-style turmoil. They had priced in a Clinton victory.

So, too, most influential news media, the global punditry and a swag of international political leaders.

No one from the Fortune Top 100 companies stumped up a donation to his presidential campaign.


Financial backers like Xero investor Peter Thiel - a Facebook board member and Paypal co-founder - were reviled by Silicon Valley.

But yesterday the headlines blared "Dow rips to all time high as investors embrace Trump presidency." How is it that this global calamity has evaporated in less than 36 hours? And is there a strong chance that Trump's bark will be less that his bite?

The answer is that self-interest has kicked in: it's in no-one's interest, least of all Trump's, for the US to go into a political death spiral.

He played a big game to garner votes - why stuff it now?

Here are some indicators.

1. Trump is playing the game

The campaign rhetoric that mobilised his supporters - "drain the swamp", "lock her up", "Crooked Hillary" - was jettisoned in his gracious acceptance speech in the small hours of election night.

Trump calmed the mob. He was conciliatory.

Nevertheless, as the UK's Telegraph has reported, the White House will not rule out pardoning Hillary Clinton for any offences she may have committed over her use of a private email server, after Trump's warning that she would be jailed if he became President.


This is wise as Trump's campaign manager has said that any prosecution of Clinton "would come in due time".

2. Obama is ensuring a smooth transition.

Just as President George W. Bush did for him, Barack Obama is ensuring a seamless transition.

Trump made the right noises yesterday. His expected 10-15 minute meeting with Obama went for nearly one-and-a-half hours.

He praised the President. And he said he would seek Obama's "counsel" in the future. Obama said his number one priority was to facilitate a transition that "ensures our President-elect is successful".

Importantly, the meeting traversed enough subjects to give Trump an insight into the reality of what the presidency means.

3. Here comes the fiscal stimulus

Trump plans to invest multi-billions of dollars in US infrastructure. Let's face it, compared to Asian nations like China, Japan and Singapore, America's crumbling infrastructure is a disgrace.

Airports, bridges and railways just don't compete and they are a drag on US business.

So, too, are the uncompetitive company tax rates which Trump promises to bring down.

This should boost economic growth and business.

This won't just benefit the corporates. The tax code will also be overhauled.

4. Washington logjam is broken

Finally, a President will stand a chance of getting their policies through. With a Republican majority in both houses, Trump's policies can be quickly facilitated. It is in the Republican Party's interest that this goes well. But also that some of Trump's more black and white policies - like immigration - are modified.

The business argument on immigration is obvious. He won't get a free pass.

5. Cracking down on corporates

Trump means it when he says he will use special tariffs as a sledgehammer on US corporates who have or plan to offshore all manufacturing to low wage economies.

This is at the heart of the so-called trade debate. Already he has bludgeoned manufacturers who want to send more manufacturing to Mexico.

In reality, it is not China which has been getting the better of the so-called trade war, but the many US corporates which sent their manufacturing there in the first place, to the "world's factory". This debate is really about bringing US industry home.

It's also about the digital giants paying their fair share of taxes.

6. Forget FTAs - the new trade battleground is NTBs

Getting more notches on the free trade belt counts for little when exporters are being screwed by a range of non-tariff barriers (NTBs). This reality is why the NZ government has launched a renewed focus on making existing FTAs work, rather than concentrating purely on more deals.

Trump plans to do the same.

Trump says he wants to make US deals more fair. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already invited him to start a formal renegotiation of NAFTA. The TPP is not going to get off the ground anytime soon.

7. The Wall

There have been walls before: the Iron Curtain; Israel's wall.

It will cost a lot of money, but creative financing options are already being explored.

He needs a symbolic move - this may be it. Regardless, it will stimulate jobs.

Fundamentally, Trump is the disruptive force that Washington needed.

It will be an interesting ride, but it is too early to say that a Trump presidency will cause the US economy to crash. Chances are, it will actually be good for business.