“We must distinguish between the unlikely and the impossible.”
– P.G. Wodehouse
President Trump’s successive executive orders restricting immigration caught many people off guard, and many businesses had to scramble to react. But we propose that predicting the future is not as challenging under the new Administration as it may sometimes seem. For example, if you wished to know whether there would be an immigration ban (whether you favor or oppose immigration restrictions), you could do worse than to take the President at his word about what he is going to do: Candidate Trump promised immigration restrictions targeting, variously, Muslim people, Muslim majority countries, and countries listed as state sponsors of terrorism. Which countries would Mr. Trump target? Several of those listed could have been predicted in advance based on campaign promises. More broadly, a suspension of immigration from Syria and Libya was an explicit campaign promise, so certainly that much was predictable.
Setting the wisdom and politics of the immigration orders aside, the major questions for international businesses are: “What comes next?” and “How do we prepare?”
In order to help answer these questions ahead of events, we have reviewed promises and statements from the Trump campaign and analyzed how they are most likely to play out in laws, regulations, executive orders, and international agreements.
In this series, we have done our best to remain policy-agnostic: we leave to others to argue whether a given step would be good or bad. We aim to explain what changes your business can expect and how it can prepare for those expected changes.
Below are analyses of some of the actions that will affect international business that we can expect and should prepare for: