Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Trump : the fears of the business community – The Figaro

While the us president claims to “Trump” on the economy, concerns are growing in the business community, particularly on the issue of protectionism and trade wars that this may cause.

Two weights and two measures. “You’ve seen what happens the last two weeks, and yet, it is not even yet in office”, has launched a Donald Trump in great confidence during a meeting. The us president boasts already a “Trump” on the economy. But this confidence is not shared by everyone… on The contrary. Concerns are growing in the business community americans confused by the numerous announcements of the president-elect Donald Trump, even if some sectors expect to take advantage of his arrival to the White House. “I’m a little worried about facing a certain kind of rhetoric”, said on Tuesday Doug Oberhelman, the CEO of the industrial group, Caterpillar (construction vehicles, and derivatives), who is also chairman of the lobby of large companies in the u.s. Business Roundtable.

This statement sums up the growing sense in the contexts of american business, even if the promises of Donald Trump to lower the taxes of companies and the appointment of his economic team of prominent individuals from the private sector are welcomed. But the Chamber of commerce and some major bosses have more and more difficulty to hide their fears in front of the threats of protectionism raised by Donald Trump, who may, according to them, cause a trade war with important partners such as China and Mexico. “Anyone who is interested in the recent campaign and the results of the elections knows that one of the most important themes was the concern about the freedom and fairness of trade”, has recently recalled Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing (aeronautics and aerospace), the last target date of Donald Trump.

one of The fears is to see Donald Trump setting up its threat to impose a tax of 35%, in respect of customs duties, on the importation into the United States from products manufactured abroad by american companies. Such a measure, in turn, could trigger a trade war, with the imposition of taxes equivalent to by the trading partners of Washington. It could also affect large us exporters such as Caterpillar, which employs thousands of people in its factories in the american Midwest. The group exports up to 80 per cent of goods manufactured in the United States, ahead of Doug Oberhelman.

“I think the best is to have a positive engagement between the administration, the business community and the foreign countries to determine how we can all be winners,” added Doug Oberhelman. After the lobby Business Roundtable, a large number of bosses planning to reduce significantly their investments in the United States if the inflammatory rhetoric of Mr. Trump vis-à-vis trading partners and multinational companies in the united states are translated into concrete measures. Only 35% of the 142 heads of member companies of this organization have increased their investments in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 3% compared to the third quarter.

Read also: What lurks behind the refusal of Trump to touch his salary of president

Since his election, Donald Trump has already attacked from the front the american companies Ford (automotive) and United Technologies (air conditioning, elevators, aerospace, security systems). He has got to them, mixing threats and incentives, to keep jobs in the United States rather than relocate abroad, especially in Mexico. A sector, the bank, however seems to be pampered. After having appointed two of its representatives, Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, respectively, of the Treasury and Commerce, the president-elect has promised to loosen the banking regulations.

This promise ignited the actions of the banks in the Stock market since his election. Goldman Sachs has gained 26% in less than a month, while JPMorgan Chase has seen its market value grow by 19%. “The action is doing well since the election and this is due to a hope,” says Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. It is to see “the administration Trump free businesses, improve growth, enabling banks to lend and that they in turn benefit from the higher interest rates, strong economic activity and less regulation”, has enumerated the banker, adding, however: “Hopefully this is going to check”.


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