Business euphoria over Trump gives way to caution, uncertainty

Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:21pm EST
 
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By Patrick Rucker and Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Early optimism among business lobbyists and executives that Donald Trump's election heralded better days has slowly given way to uncertainty as the president-elect fires off mixed and sometimes confusing messages on healthcare, taxes and trade.

An initial euphoria in the business world fueled a powerful post-election stock rally. Some of that has frayed as questions arise over the nuts and bolts of Trump's campaign promises, although many in the business community said they remained optimistic.

Doubts deepened over the weekend as Trump declared he would replace President Barack Obama's signature healthcare plan known as Obamacare with "insurance for everybody" - a goal far beyond Republican designs - and criticized a key component of a plan in Congress to overhaul corporate taxes. In a later interview, he appeared to adjust both stances, possibly adding to the confusion.

"It is fair to say that since the election, there has been mounting uncertainty about exactly what the specific policies are likely to be with regard to tax reform and replacing Obamacare," a financial industry official said.

Expectations for faster growth, tax reform and a quick repeal of Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, have "given way to 'We are not really sure what he means by that,'" the official said.

A veteran Republican financial lobbyist said she was under constant pressure from clients to predict what the new administration was planning but had no reliable answers.

WRENCH IN OBAMACARE REPEAL   Continued...

 
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks to diplomats and guests at the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) Chairman's Global Dinner in Washington, U.S. January 17, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst