But here are some of the key issues that are at the top of their minds.
On some topics, neither Trump nor President Biden has the answer that businesses want. In a survey of about 1,200 C-suite executives by the Conference Board, the executives said their biggest risk was the rising national debt. While Haley has made reducing government spending part of her campaign, neither Trump nor Biden has made it a priority. “I don’t think there’s a candidate that is particularly encouraging on that issue,” Murray said.
On corporate taxes, a second Trump administration would most likely have less effect than the first, which signed into law a cut to the corporate tax rate, to 21 percent from 35 percent, said Andy Laperriere, the head of U.S. policy at Piper Sandler. “I think it’s going to be a big enough challenge just to extend the individual tax cuts that are in place today that expire at the end of 2025,” he said.
Trump has vowed to shake up trade — but how? Biden has kept many of the Trump administration’s tariffs in place. He has restricted the sale of some technology to China, and he is considering new protectionist measures to help U.S. companies compete with Beijing. Trump has proposed much further-reaching trade policies, like putting a 10 percent tariff on all imports.
“There’ll be a lot of uncertainty about how this is going to work out,” Laperriere said. “Do we get this 10 percent tariff across the board? Does he really have authority to do that? Does he try to do that? Does he just withdraw from the World Trade Organization?” He added, “I do think that what investors should bet on is that Trump is serious about all this. “
Climate incentives may be under threat. It would take congressional action to make wholesale changes to Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which set aside $370 billion in spending and tax credits for renewable energy investments. Jeff Navin, who was a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Energy during the Obama administration and co-founded the government affairs firm Boundary Stone Partners, said a Republican administration (even one that previously rolled back more than 100 climate rules, as Trump’s did) was unlikely to spend the political capital required to do that. “I don’t see people campaigning on it,” he said.