Boston Business Leaders React After Trump Election Victory

This originally appeared as part of Boston Business Journal’s article, Boston business leaders react after Trump election victory, on November 9, 2016.

white-houseWe talked to a wide variety of Boston-area business leaders to understand what the surprising victory of billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump means to them and business in general.

From David Begelfer, CEO, NAIOP Massachusetts:

The election of Donald Trump as President was a surprise to most business leaders, whether they were Democrat or Republican. If there is one thing that business does not like, it is uncertainty.  With a Trump campaign based on sound bites, no one really knows what to expect with respect to his choice of advisors and cabinet members, policies, and international agreements.

That said, one can assume that there will be a fairly quick move to propose tax cuts (and possible tax reforms) and to attack the regulatory environment. For business, in general, and real estate, in particular, it is likely that the recent effort to increase capital gains and go after “carried interest” will be replaced by a plan to reduce corporate income tax rates, eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax, and ensure the immediate deductibility of capital expenses.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the Trump administration will focus on the EPA and potentially curb some of its oversight and regulation. Areas that could see relaxation may include climate change and stormwater. Also, energy exploration, drilling (e.g. fracking), and pipeline expansion could be encouraged.

There is no question that any changes to trade or immigration policies would affect the New England economy. The region’s economic growth has fed off a very successful set of trade agreements. In addition, the growth of jobs in the region has relied upon a strong flow of immigrants into the area.  If, as promised, the current trade agreements are in question and if immigration is further restricted, we could see a serious impact on the region’s future growth.

Finally, given that the support of the Republican-controlled House & Senate will be needed to accomplish anything beyond Executive Orders, it will be interesting to see how he is able to work with a divided party.

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