Despite facing widespread hostility, business leaders are hopeful that US president Donald Trump will heed advice from his allies and push ahead with economic growth strategies, writes Daniel Malachuk.

A century ago, Winston Churchill characterised Europe as nations and factions having “vials of wrath”. US president Donald Trump’s opponents are self-branded as 'the Resistance'. This resistance includes elected officials and career bureaucrats as well as many well-funded issue-oriented groups and a sympathetic media. While some of the president’s decisions are popular with his core supporters, the policy changes and his administrative style have offended the resistors, refilling their vials of wrath.

An audacious outsider, Mr Trump won only 4% of the popular vote in Washington, DC so friction was expected. Congress may be plagued with an unsustainable 10% to 12% approval rating, but Washington’s elite is entrenched, and it believes in itself and its methods. This establishment’s leaders smile knowingly, self-perpetuated by political financing schemes that are unaltered and a civil service system that guarantees tenure. 

Despite the rancour, some business leaders are guardedly hopeful that the president (or his party) will stay on course in terms of economic growth strategies. They point to:

  • Continued positive speculation about tax rate reductions and, potentially, more significant corporate tax reform. 
  • An 'all of the above' energy policy that includes more natural gas. Officials suggest expanding liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Japan and Germany, who have sworn off nuclear power. LNG facilities, blocked in the recent past, may be getting a green light. 
  • Pro-business cabinet appointments and early regulatory reductions. One Fortune 50 CEO was quoted as saying: “All of a sudden after the election, the waterboarding, the eight years of waterboarding, stopped.”

Former US president Harry S Truman was alleged to have said: “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.” As have most presidents before him, Mr Trump is said to be turning to a few close friends and associates for private counsel. If they speak candidly to him, hopefully their advice will be both sound and heeded.

Daniel Malachuk works with business and government leaders on global direct investment strategies. He has advised many of the world’s leading companies and served in the public sector as director of White House operations. 


This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
fDi Magazine

Global greenfield investment trends

Crossborder investment monitor

fDi Markets is the only online database tracking crossborder greenfield investment covering all sectors and countries worldwide. It provides real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation with powerful tools to track and profile companies investing overseas.

Click here to find out more about fDi Markets

Corporate location benchmarking tool

fDi Benchmark is the only online tool to benchmark the competitiveness of countries and cities in over 50 sectors. Its comprehensive location data series covers the main cost and quality competitiveness indicators for over 300 locations around the world.

Click here to find out more about fDi Benchmark

Research report

fDi Intelligence provides customised reports and data research which deliver vital business intelligence to corporations, investment promotion agencies, economic development organisations, consulting firms and research institutions.

Find out more.