There is no denying that 2016 was a year filled with significant and tangible unanticipated events in the political, economic, and security realms. Whether considering Donald Trump’s election, the first Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) output cut in 8 years, or the resurgence of lone wolf terrorist attacks, most of us were caught by surprise on a routine basis and wondered what could possibly be coming next.
2017 will see dramatic acceleration of unforeseen change, which will present unprecedented risk to businesses—both domestic and international—as well as ushering in what should prove to be unprecedented changes in the regulatory and risk management landscape in the United States, which should once again prove that it retains the unique ability to impact trade and investment climates throughout the world.
The Trump Administration will clearly not be able to implement every legislative initiative it may wish to pursue, even with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Apart from the fact that legislators don’t tend to spend all that much time actually “legislating” in Congress, Trump’s ambitions are too grandiose for a lackluster Congress, unaccustomed to being highly productive, and which will continue to be ruled by pork-barrel politics and institutionalized corruption—despite Trump’s claims that he will be tackling this head on.
President-elect Trump will, in his first 100 days, be forced to prioritize his objectives and will no doubt place heightened investment in infrastructure, building the wall along the border with Mexico, and ramping up the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) at the top of his wish list.
Financial Sector Changes
Given that so many of Trump’s cabinet and other appointments have proven to be Wall Street veterans, I do not foresee much in the way of financial service reform occurring during his administration, but I do expect him to proceed apace with penalizing firms who move jobs out of the United States. So time-tested maquiladoras and outsource-oriented businesses may need to quickly rethink their own priorities.