No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, we can all agree that the election of Donald Trump as president will likely usher in a period of sudden and substantial shifts in the nation’s business climate. With Republicans holding a majority in both houses of Congress, there will be little in the way of resistance if the executive and legislative branches of government align on policy moving forward.
The coming months will present an added degree of uncertainty for direct response marketers, however; some forthcoming Trump-era policies may offer relief from regulation, while others may bring new costs and concerns. Trump’s stated policies leading up to the election were fuzzy on the details, but what we do know is that—like other members of his party—he tends to be against regulation.
While there’s no support for fraud, this stance may usher in a more forgiving Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) may also see an increase in influence, since Republican administrations often favor self-regulatory bodies over imposed solutions.
Other potential policy shifts could present problems for DR. Trump is not a fan of Jeff Bezos and his properties, the Washington Post and Amazon, and while the imposition of an online sales tax has friends and enemies on both sides of the aisle, its prospects improve under a Trump administration. Similarly, Trump’s previous comments indicate that he is probably not a supporter of net neutrality, which is key to ensuring that marketing messages can reach all consumers equally.
And with so many consumer goods manufactured overseas, Trump’s positions on international trade could have a powerful effect on where products are sourced and how much they cost to make. All we really know about the new president at this juncture, however, is to expect the unexpected.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for you and your company to attend ERA’s Government Affairs Fly-In, scheduled for May 23–24, 2017. Not only will you be able to learn what’s coming down the pipeline from legal and regulatory experts, you’ll also be able to meet with Congressional representatives and staffers face-to-face and tell them what DR needs to thrive.
When we speak up together as members of an association, we earn a spot at the table—and can exert our industry’s considerable influence to bear on the changes yet to come.
President & CEO
Electronic Retailing Association