With Donald Trump As President, What’s Next For The Construction Industry?

Republished from ConstructionDive.com, November 9, 2016. Written by Emily Peiffer.

The race is over: Republican candidate Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. 

Although that looming question has been resolved — after Trump defied pollster predictions — the impact of the next administration on the construction industry is still unknown.

On the positive side, experts have predicted the end of a tumultuous election cycle would mean good news for the construction industry, as uncertainty surrounding the election has led some developers and owners to delay new major projects as they have waited to see how the economy will respond after the race ends.

However, the economy — tied closely to the strength of the construction industry — could suffer as the Dow futures index plunged when Trump started winning key battleground states late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Financial experts have expressed concern regarding Trump’s repudiation of major trade agreements.

Now, the industry must wait to find out whether Trump will fulfill his campaign promises to boost infrastructure spending and slash regulations that can increase building costs.

Trump revealed his $1 trillion infrastructure plan in October. His team said the program would be largely funded through private investment, with tax credits going to investors willing to put up an equity stake in revenue-generating projects like toll roads, airports and utilities.

Although construction industry insiders have been skeptical that either candidate would be able to pass any massive bill considering the divisive nature of this election cycle, the fact that the House, Senate and presidency are all held by Republicans could result in a wave of new measures.

Brian Turmail, senior executive director of public affairs for the Associated General Contractors of America, said Wednesday morning that the results demonstrate that Americans want a change in Washington, as they are “fed up with the growth of the regulatory state” and “tired of policies that discourage job creation.” He said the AGC looks forward to working with Trump and Congress to “advance new infrastructure investments” and find ways to fund them.

On the housing side, Trump has promised to slash regulations in an effort to give the housing industry a boost, pointing to high building costs and low homeownership rates. Other than cutting regulations, however, Trump hasn’t revealed other plans for housing policy and reform. 

After Trump clinched the race, National Association of Home Builders Chairman Ed Brady congratulated him and said in a release that the NAHB “looks forward to working in a bipartisan manner with the incoming administration and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to tackle critical issues facing the housing industry.”

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