How the Trump Presidency Will Affect Your Bottom Line

As the election buzz quiets, and we settle into four years of President-elect Trump’s government, it’s important for small business owners to understand his policies and how they will affect you directly.

As we move from Obama to Trump, the biggest change we can expect to see in commerce is their position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a potential free-trade agreement between 12 nations around the Pacific Ocean. It’s the world’s largest trade deal of its kind, accounting for countries that collectively produce 40% of the world’s economic output.

President Obama praises the agreement because, among other benefits, it’ll open up the Asian market to American-made products. There’s an entire chapter “specifically dedicated to helping small- and medium-sized businesses benefit from trade,” according to the White House. But Trump vehemently opposes the TPP, citing it as the “death of American manufacturing.”  He’s said it may put the interest of foreign countries above our own, decrease the wages of our country’s workers, and a bunch of other things you can check out here.

This means big changes for small-to-medium businesses – a group that accounts for more than 46% of the private nonfarm GDP. Do you buy, sell or make products in one of these countries? Australia Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. If so, you’re going to want to know this stuff.

Politics aside, here are some changes that will happen in the U.S. if the TPP is put in effect:


Potential Pros

  • Opens up new (and very large) markets for you to sell your product
  • Reduce or eliminate tariffs making it cheaper for you to manufacture your product in countries overseas
  • Specific benefits given to those who are environmentally-friendly
  • More specific copyright and intellectual property protection to account for parallel products in overseas markets. This will prevent, for example, countries like Singapore from exporting DVDs to the U.S. and selling them cheaper than those manufactured here

Potential Cons

  • More competition and breadth of products. Opening a market gives you access to more consumers, but it also gives businesses similar to yours in other countries access to Americans’ ­attention
  • Shorter patents
  • Loss of some tariff protection (mostly in the food sector)

To read the full TPP document, head here.