The Expected Impact of the November Elections on U.S. Businesses
The SGMA Conducts Industry Conference Call To Analyze Major Issues
SILVER SPRING, MD – November 11, 2010 -- The U.S. economy will continue to be the biggest issue in the year ahead and with the recent elections providing for a divided government, the future of the economy will either benefit from consensus solutions or remain static due to partisan politics. That was one of many statements made during SGMA’s Post November 2010 Election Conference Call on Wednesday, November 10.
According to Washington, D.C. insiders, Bill Sells (SGMA; Vice President; Governmental Relations), Loren Monroe (Principal; Barbour, Griffiths & Rogers Public Affairs; Washington, DC), and Dan Tate, Jr. (Partner; Capitol Solutions; Washington, DC), the major themes in 2011 will be cutting government spending, reducing the national debt, the future of the Bush tax cuts, and creating jobs. Needless to say, consensus will be needed on all those issues with shared power in Washington, D.C.
Throughout this 75-minute presentation, Sells, Monroe, and Tate discussed how the November elections will impact policies trade, regulation, taxes, health care, and the issue of intellectual property.
Monroe, a top 100 lobbyist with close ties to the GOP, stated that the main target for the new Congress will be cutting federal spending and helping to create more jobs. He said that was the message which sent by an “angry electorate.”
Tate, a policy adviser in the Clinton White House, added that the November elections were a “referendum on the party in power.” Tate agreed with Monroe in that the American voters are “extraordinarily angry at how D.C. works.” Tate suggested only time will tell if Republican solutions are better than Democrat solutions.
All three speakers agreed that House Republicans and the Obama Administration actually will have common issues they can work on together. One of the bigger trade issues is the tension with China regarding its currency valuation.
On the issue of maintaining security on imports, Monroe noted that if the federal government does not fund cargo screening of products entering the country, then private industry will be forced to follow certain mandates which can be expensive.
Regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) implementation and enforcement of regulations, Monroe is “concerned about the application and enforcement” of the CPSC’s existing rules and regulations. Monroe sees an important role for the private sector in working with Congress to affect how the new product safety laws are interpreted, implemented, and enforced.
Taxes are another area that will require political cooperation for an “across the board extension of the Bush tax cuts,” if even for just a year. President Obama has publicly stated his desire to roll back the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year.
As for health care, Tate predicts that House Republicans will vote to repeal the existing health care reform legislation. Tate said major question is this: “How do you address Republican concerns while preserving some of the positives of the health care legislation, such as health care coverage for children under age 26 and coverage for those with pre-existing conditions?”
Monroe concluded that the Republicans will either fix the health care bill or use it as a political item in the 2012 elections.
Finally, with respect to intellectual property, which affects almost every industry, Tate stated that any complex legislation on intellectual property is unlikely because the new Congress is going after major issues which define their own parties. Tate said the intellectual property issue is being “pushed way off to the side and down the list” of legislative priorities. He did say that some of the Congressional Members that best understood this issue lost their races in the November elections, which will only make action less likely.
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy. More information about SGMA membership and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com .