Even before Donald Trump assumes office, the real estate mogul and president elect has struck two controversial deals to deliver on one of his promises: keeping American jobs inside the country.
Following Ford's announcement that the company will keep its Louisville, Ky. assembly plant open, defense contractor United Technologies' Carrier subsidiary has decided to keep 1,000 Indianapolis jobs, backpedaling a little on the company's Mexico plan.
This all seems like a promising start for the surprise presidential victor. But what will a Trump presidency foreshadow for investors?
The administration will likely be good for some companies and less so for others. Investors should pick their stocks with care.
New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has argued that companies are sending jobs overseas because they have found that they can boost productivity and margins -- the latter is a result of the lower wages that overseas workers command.
Mexico, China, and India have seen a steady flow of manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S.
Trump has reportedly told his team to draw up a list of companies on which he can use his influence to keep jobs in America. Manufacturing companies, including pharma giants, automakers, industrial machine manufacturers, IT firms and other labor-intensive industries, are likely to be affected by the president and his administration.
Trump is likely to do everything in his power to protect jobs, as he reportedly did with Carrier. What exactly that might be is unclear. Trump prides himself on being a dealmaker but details are often not forthcoming about his actions.
In addition, it is likely that the new Republican administration will lower taxes and do what it can to ease the burden for factory owners.
In the case of Ford, company officials have admitted how potential tax and regulatory modifications from the incoming administration affected their judgement not to move its production facility to Mexico. Trump reportedly used the threat of a 35% tax on companies to achieve his goal.
Other companies stand to gain from Trump's focus on manufacturing. Moreover, a massive increase in spending on U.S. infrastructure would help companies that deal in heavy equipment and engineering, including Caterpillar, General Electric and Honeywell.
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However, analysts have said that transporting Apple manufacturing to the U.S. could increase costs for that firm, eventually leading to higher prices for consumers. A Trump presidency could be a bad thing for Apple and its investors.
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Apple uses China-based Foxconn's factories to make devices.
Trump has already spoken about how he remains opposed to Apple's overseas manufacturing strategy.
Bottom line: Investors will need to meticulously consider which companies to invest in during Trump's presidency.
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