Amid Uncertainty, KPMG Study Shows Varied Director Views on Trump Administration Agenda

September 6, 2017

A recent KPMG survey of nearly 600 directors and senior executives across 16 cities shows a wide range of views on the Trump administration’s agenda among business leaders. One director summarized the plight of the respondents: “We’re facing a lot of what business abhors—uncertainty, but holding still is not an option. We have to ask the right questions. We can’t wait for the forecast to clear.”

When asked whether Trump administration policies would affect company strategy, 42 percent said yes, and 23 percent said they were not sure; only 35 percent said that administration policy initiatives would have no significant impact on company strategy. Views were even more varied when it came to specific issues.

When asked what policies would bring the greatest “opportunities,” the most popular policies for respondents to this question were tax reform (64 percent), reducing regulatory burdens (47 percent), infrastructure spending (22 percent) and global trade policy (19 percent). When asked about “risk,” 38 percent named global trade policy and 30 percent named tax reform. Risks were also seen in foreign policy (26 percent) and healthcare (18 percent).

Subtracting “risk” scores from “opportunity” scores for an informal “net score,” it seems that the most popular initiatives with directors are tax reform (net score 34), reducing regulatory burden (net score 33) and infrastructure spending (net score 18). The least popular were foreign policy (net score negative 20) and global trade policy (net score negative 19), followed by healthcare (net score negative 11).

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