News in Digest: Surprised by Trump … more than once
Ahead of the US Presidential Election on November 8, only 5 percent of the Danish public were tipping Donald Trump to win – a long way off the bookies, which gave Trump an 18 percent chance. To say they were surprised was an understatement!
According to a YouGov/Eurotrack survey, 85 percent tipped Hillary Clinton to win, compared to just 64 in Britain. Danish business owners were more cautious though, with Dansk Industri expressing serious concerns.
Trump call for Løkke
Those fears became a reality at 8:40 am on November 9. Mogens Lykketoft, the ex-president of the UN General Assembly, summed up Danish fears when he told CPH POST: “We are heading into a more unsafe period because we just don’t know what he might do.”
True enough, a weak later Trump threw a curveball and called Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen – “a friendly and constructive talk in which I stressed that Denmark is a close ally of the United States and has been for decades”, he revealed.
According to Rasmussen, Trump has “an incredibly positive impression of Denmark as a country and the Danes as a people” and wants to meet Løkke in Washington DC “as soon as it is possible”.
Rasmussen might face opposition though. Socialistisk Folkeparti’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, Holger K Nielsen, pulled no punches, saying that Denmark should rethink its foreign affairs policy so it is no longer tied to the US.
“Donald Trump is a horror scenario that has now become a reality. He is a loose cannon,” he told TV2 News. “It will be very dangerous having him as president.”
However, so far, most fears have failed to materialise. The effect on Danish green-tech exports, for example is expected to be negligible, as federal influence is not a big factor in the sector.
“That many Danish companies have done well within sustainable energy until now is primarily down to the green ambitions of individual states, and not due to the ambitious climate policy at a federal level,” explained Jakob Andersen, the consul general in Chicago.
Wind of change
And the Danish stock market only fell by 2 percent when it opened on November 9 – compared to 10 percent following Brexit – although Vestas plummeted 11 percent.
A week later, the wind turbine company confirmed it is letting 350 employees go at its plant in Lem in west Jutland in order to strengthen its ability to compete.
Vestas employs around 4,600 people in Denmark – 2,400 of which work in production.
A welcome injection
Novo Nordisk, however, rose 6 percent following the election result as Clinton was keen to lower prices on drugs like insulin – a move her opponent in the Democrat race, Bernie Sanders, is also super keen on.
“In the richest nation in the world, diabetes patients are being forced to decide between eating and paying for the drugs they need,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk clearly care more about their profits than their patients. It’s time to end their greed.”
But the US Food and Drug Administration wasn’t listening, as on November 22, the news broke that it has finally approved Novo’s new diabetes product Xultophy, which will go on sale during the first half of next year.