Election 2016: What Lies Ahead

Election 2016: What Lies Ahead

This piece was originally published in the December 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Kyle Pitsor, Vice President of Government Relations, NEMA

Next month, a Republican majority Senate and House of Representatives will convene, and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. With the shift in control to the GOP, what are some major themes we expect for next year?

A major rewrite of the tax code that addresses business and individual tax rates is now much more possible but still a steep climb. Mr. Trump’s agenda called for lowering the business rate from 35 to 15 percent. There is broad tax agreement to tap the estimated $2.6 trillion in corporate profits that are located overseas, particularly if it is tied to a Trump plan to pay for infrastructure improvements. As a candidate, Mr. Trump called for overseas profits to be brought back at a rate of 10 percent.

The 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices is part of the funding program for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. Our industry supports the repeal of this tax, which Congress suspended for 2016–2017. It is important that Congress act quickly to permanently repeal the tax in order to provide stability to the marketplace. Tax reform and legislation to repeal and replace the ACA are two vehicles to achieve this.

Regulatory relief features prominently in the Trump agenda as a component of an economic plan designed to grow the economy four percent per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform and lifting the restrictions on American energy. A regulatory review is underway by Trump staff, and we have launched a review of regulations and executive orders that impact NEMA and MITA members to identify those that should be removed and those that should be continued.

The president-elect vowed to get tough with trading partners to negotiate “good” trade deals that benefit U.S. workers, to cancel the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and to step up enforcement of existing trade agreements. It is not clear exactly what Mr. Trump intended with his call to leave NAFTA, given the integrated supply chain that exists and how changes could negatively impact U.S. businesses and workers.

Read the December 2016 issue of electroindustry.

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