Well, it’s finally over – the next United States President has been chosen. Whether you are devastated or elated today, we all now must digest the reality. Personal feelings aside, we now must look to the implications that new policies might have on logistics and supply chain professionals.
This post does not indicate support for any particular political party or candidate, just an objective view of the current situation we find ourselves in and how a change in leadership might impact retailers, consumers and shippers.
A few months ago we wrote a post about the potential changes that might occur based on each candidates policy proposals. Now that we have a winner, we can look more closely at what we can expect after January 20th, 2017.
One of the most prominent issues discussed in this campaign is trade – namely the NAFTA agreement and how the United States will deal with trading partners such as China. While these issues have not led to many concrete proposals, it’s clear that there will be a focus on bringing industry and manufacturing to the United States.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has taken center stage in the battle over trade policy. While it was initially lauded, it seems the President elect is keen to re-negotiate it. How this affects trade with China and other Asian countries is not yet known, but we may see an impact on imported goods, which will likely increase costs to the American consumer.
The impact of this might lead to a greater focus on domestic shipping. As a result of what could be called “protectionist” policies, taxes on imported goods may be higher, which would inevitably lead to greater consumption of domestically produced goods.
Additionally, a change in tax codes may have wide ranging affects on both consumers and shippers a like. The President-elect has put forward a tax plan that decreases both income tax (for some people) and corporate tax. A Keynesian economic view would indicate that this could promote more spending, benefiting the economy, which in turn benefits retailers and shippers.
We could also see a lessening of Federal Regulation, particularly environmental protections, which may lead to increased production. This cause and effect relationship has been debated, with one saying less environmental regulation is good for output, while the other side says that regulation leads to more streamlined work process, thus benefiting production.
The world and markets are still digesting what is considered a historic upset; there are many unknowns right now. Time will tell what will happen come January 20th when Donald Trump takes office.