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News

Election 2020 Tracking the top policy issues at play and their business impact

2.12.2020
Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers Česká republika, s.r.o.

Post-election policy outlook: With change in the White House, what’s changing for US companies?

With Democrat Joe Biden projected to become the 46th US president, much of the election uncertainty has started to recede, improving business leaders’ optimism. News of COVID-19 vaccine breakthroughs has added to that sentiment, and more than 40% of senior executives surveyed by PwC say they’re more upbeat about business prospects in 2021 than they were before the election. Expectations that aspects of the Biden agenda will likely be moderated by a Republican or closely-divided Senate is also likely reassuring for business.

Prospects for corporate tax increases and expanding healthcare were among the top areas cited by executives ahead of the election as potential policy risks. Worries about another COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on business and operations and concerns about a divided nation as a result of the election are also weighing on business leaders. We break down what these issues mean to your business and what you can do to prepare.

Improved outlook comes in the face of key uncertainties

A resurgent pandemic is chief among concerns. More than half of business leaders surveyed (54%) say shutdowns caused by a new wave of infections is their top concern, while one in four (26%) raise concern over the nation’s capacity to distribute safe and effective vaccines to large numbers of people. The pandemic’s continued fallout on the broader economy and business operations are also top-of-mind concerns. More than 40% are worried about financial impacts, e.g., on liquidity and capital resources, as well as impacts of the pandemic-induced downturn. And 31% are concerned about how overall uncertainty is impacting the workforce.

With companies continuing to adapt to a changing environment, business leaders told us about their immediate focus and priorities under a Biden administration:

  • Additional fiscal policy support for the US economic recovery. Over half of executives (55%) say further economic federal relief or stimulus is “very important” for their business. Another 31% say it is marginally important.
  • Taking a stepped up role to help bridge the social divisions exposed by the election. The workforce is at the center of this agenda. For example, close to half (47%) plan to create ways for employees to discuss difficult social issues.
  • Preparing for heightened policy, regulatory and compliance risks. Biden is likely to use a combination of executive authority and agency rulemaking to advance parts of his agenda, given the close divide in the Senate.
  • Enhancing their company’s capacity to innovate, collaborate and pivot quickly when hit by the next disruption. As COVID-19 mainstreams digital transformation, success will now come down to execution.

More information here.

Tags: Politics |

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