America’s economy has been roaring, but with the midterm election tomorrow, the direction of regulation and tax policies could change drastically. Here, according to The Wall Street Journal are the areas with the most at stake in tomorrow’s election:
- TAXES: The Trump administration wants to make permanent new income tax cuts for individuals passed last year, a move that Wall Street analysts say could bolster consumer confidence and lift prospects for retailers, auto makers, tech firms and other consumer-goods companies. But the White House will need Republicans to retain control of Congress to pass legislation locking in those cuts. If the Democrats flip one or both chambers, those lawmakers instead are likely to push for an increase in the corporate tax rate.
- TRADE: President Trump struck a new free-trade deal last month with Canada and Mexico that aims to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The revamped rules add new restrictions for manufacturers, such as auto makers, and agricultural producers reliant on duty-free trade in the region. But the new trade deal still needs congressional approval and it isn’t likely to go up for a vote until next year.
- (DE)REGULATION: President Trump has made deregulation a priority and is pushing for it in a variety of sectors, including autos, energy and finance. Oil and gas companies, along with coal producers, have been among the biggest winners so far in the administration’s push to ease mandates for reducing greenhouse gases. Auto makers are also benefiting from an effort to curb future fuel-economy requirements in cars and trucks.
- INFRASTRUCTURE: The White House has pushed for a broad infrastructure-spending billalong the lines of a $1.5 trillion proposal it unveiled earlier this year that could benefit a variety of sectors, including construction, telecommunications and utilities.
- DEFENSE: A Republican victory in the House could intensify opposition over a White House plan to trim military spending. A win for Democrats could lead defense-spending bills to be delayed by cross-party disagreements over nonmilitary discretionary spending.
- AGRICULTURE: A swing in control could slow progress of a pending farm bill covering everything from crop insurance to food-stamp funding. Farm sector lobbyists see a chance for lawmakers to get a version to Mr. Trump to sign later this year before the newly elected Congress is seated.
- BIG PHARMA/HEALTH CARE: Drug prices are likely to remain an issue for lawmakers no matter the outcome. The administration is expected to keep pursuing measures to curb prices after the elections, and that effort may be limited if Republicans retain control of both houses.
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