The 2024 rematch between President Biden and President Trump is months away and looks as if it could be a real nail biter with the outcome potentially decided by a handful of voters in a few swing states. Assuming he prevails, what would a second Trump term mean for business? For policy and global markets? For trade?  How is Trump likely to address geopolitical challenges that could escalate in the next few years?

While his first term is an indicator, we would likely see a more robust application of Trump policy the second time around.  To start, he would be freed from the political burden of seeking another term.  A second Trump term would also see a much better organized team enter the White House (no more Omarosa scenarios). According to reports, extensive preparations are being made today with numerous working groups drafting policy documents, executive orders and lists of political appointees for the Executive Branch.  For example, The Heritage Foundation, a conversative leaning think tank, is leading an effort (Project 2025) that reportedly has 100 coalition partners. Project 2025 has put forward a slew of ideas designed to reshape the Executive Branch in the event of a Republican victory.  See https://www.project2025.org  In short, it sounds like Trump is planning to hit the ground running so January/February 2025 would likely be a flurry of activity in the event of a Trump win.

Potentially Trump’s most disruptive proposal concerns trade.  Trump has proposed a 10% across-the-board tariff on all US imports as well as a 60% tariff from China (though these rates might very well be “watered down” or adopted incrementally).  If your supply chain includes a substantial number of foreign-sourced products, especially from China, now is the time to anticipate price increases, potential shortages, etc.  Likewise, you should develop a sourcing back-up plan that includes domestic suppliers and potential substitutes.  Of course, there are products for which there are not currently many U.S. suppliers.  This may present opportunities for new companies and existing U.S. suppliers to step into the mix or expand their current offerings.

Another potential area of disruption is for those companies participating in the Mexican market.  Tariffs on China could be a boon for Mexico-based manufacturers already energized by the current nearshoring phenomenon (though, if they continue, recent gains by the Peso against the Dollar could offset some of these gains).  However, a question remains over whether Trump’s immigration policy might raise conflict with the Mexican government that could hamper trade relations.  Nonetheless, we see Mexico-based companies experiencing a boost if Trump trade proposals are at the top of the list next January.

We would like to hear from you.

What do you expect as consequence of a possible Trump 2.0?