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Elections 2020

Change in the White House means changing plans for some businesses

Kimberly Adams Nov 9, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Then-Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris deliver remarks in August in Wilmington, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Elections 2020

Change in the White House means changing plans for some businesses

Kimberly Adams Nov 9, 2020
Then-Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris deliver remarks in August in Wilmington, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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Former Vice President Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, and change in the White House comes with changes to the business plans of companies large and small.

Business strategists have been gaming out a potential Biden presidency for months now, planning for what could change.

“In some areas, such as energy and the environment, there will be a dramatic change,” said Michael Monderer, senior analyst for global economics at Stratfor. “In others, such as relations with China, the change will be less substantive and probably more a shift in tone.”

Monderer said he expects Biden to return to a multilateral approach to the global economy.

“That doesn’t mean that we’re going to have a quick exit to the trade war,” he said. “But I think he will try to lobby our allies, our traditional allies, to take a much more coordinated approach to China.”

And potentially a more coordinated approach to the pandemic, the major influence on the economy at the moment.

In regard to longer-term domestic policy, “I think most businesses are expecting that there will be some change to tax rates, some change to overall regulatory structure,” said Clayton Allen, a senior vice president at Height Capital Markets.

The Trump administration made a big push for deregulation, and he expects a Biden administration will revisit and perhaps reverse some of those changes.

“The reality of the situation is, though, that those changes might not be as extreme as people necessarily fear,” Allen said.

But Lana Pol, president of Geetings, Inc., a trucking company based in Pella, Iowa, is worried that the changes will be extreme. She also worries about what a Biden administration means for her business.

“They talked about rolling back the tax reform,” she said. “And they — also on the Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, and I think it’s going to make us leery what’s going to happen.”

She said she plans to hold off on new hiring or investment until she gets a better read on Biden’s plans, especially as they pertain to the ACA.

Health care costs are also on the mind of Adam Orman, co-owner of L’Oca d’Oro Restaurant in Austin, Texas. But he’s looking forward to the Biden administration.

“A public option would change the way that we are providing health care for sure,” he said.

Orman said he’s also hoping Congress will raise the federal minimum wage, especially the tipped minimum wage.

“I think that’s what really moves the most for the restaurant industry, because it has such an impact on tipped workers,” he said.

But that will also depend on who has control of the Senate, and we are still waiting to find that out.

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