Choose your adjective. It's shaping up to be another tough/busy/interesting week for President Donald Trump. Last night, national security advisor Michael Flynn resigned (more on that below), while judges on both coasts have now issued rulings against Trump's executive order closing U.S. borders to travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries.
Here's a quick, distilled look at the related issues all investors should keep an eye on from Hedgeye's JT Taylor and our team of Washington Policy analysts in D.C.
RIGHTING THE SHIP
#Trump #Pence #Flynn
National security advisor Michael Flynn resigned amid the latest news that he misled Veep Mike Pence and the Department of Justice informed the White House that he could be subject to blackmail by the Russians. Following days of speculation whether President Trump would fire him, the controversial Flynn was forced to take matters into his own hands.
Trump now has the ability to tap a seasoned advisor who can lend stability to a National Security Counci staff in disarray -- though the pool is limited given that last April, fifty Republican senior national security officials signed a letter stating that a Trump presidency would put our nation at risk.
Our seasoned colleague General Emo Gardner has more insight here. He's hosting a "flash call" today and lists Retired General Keith Kellogg, Former CIA director and General David Petraeus, and Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward as potential replacements.
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP
The regulatory reform train will keep moving forward with no plans of slowing down. The House is lining up a slew of regulations they want to overturn through the Congressional Review Act: from one that determines states’ abilities to conduct drug testing programs for people applying for unemployment insurance to another that establishes how states can set up payroll deduction savings programs for private sector workers.
While many Republicans have complained about the pace of ACA and tax reform, regulatory reform is going full steam ahead.
#Trudeau #NAFTA #Canada
President Trump and Justin Trudeau met for the first time as the Canadian Prime Minister tried to find some common ground all the while trying to avoid contentious discussions on immigration and instead focussed on economic issues.
The president’s calls to renegotiate NAFTA will have a major effect on our neighbors to the north as 75% of Canadian exports come to the United States, but the trade deficit is considerably lower at $15B than with our neighbors to the south - $58B. First daughter Ivanka Trump smoothed any tensions with Trudeau as they were able to connect over their shared desire to promote women in the workplace.
CONFIRMATIONS PICKING UP ... FOR NOW
After what has seemed like a long confirmation process, the pace is picking up speed. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin were confirmed last night and Small Business Administration-designate Linda McMahon will receive a full floor vote this week.
There’s even a chance Trump could get Energy-designate Rick Perry and Interior-designate Ryan Zinke confirmed later this week.
Only 10 more Cabinet and 1,000 more sub-Cabinet positions- and a SCOTUS Justice left to go.
HURRY UP AND WAIT
Movement of President Donald Trump’s nominees and major policies on Capitol Hill has been slow - which is the norm as Hill watchers will rush to tell you. But influential Ohio Senator Rob Portman has given Trump and other Republicans reason to be hopeful as he expects to see tax reform as early as this summer and since his plan is revenue neutral and is more likely to become permanent at the end of the tenth year of reconciliation.
Trump may be a little behind in his confirmations, but if Democrats keep dragging their feet and chew up valuable floor time, there won’t be quite as much time for the Republican agenda - or the Portman plan for that matter - to move forward on their terms.
*AUDIO REPLAY | TAX POLICY UNDER TRUMP
Last week we hosted a call with Dorothy Coleman, Vice President, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, to discuss tax policy on the manufacturing sector. You can find the replay here.
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