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US: What’s ahead in a Trump administration?

The election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in the House and Senate signals change in Washington. That much is certain. What’s unclear is exactly how this new administration will act and how those actions could affect floral industry business owners, said Shawn McBurney, SAF’s senior director of government relations.

“Having unified party control in Washington could mean more congressional action, but again, it’s too soon to tell,” said McBurney, who recently shared some of his thoughts on how the new administration could change the landscape for small businesses.

“As demonstrated by the nearly complete failure of pundits, polls and political experts to accurately predict the outcome of the presidential election, my comments should be read knowing that much can and will change over the next few months as the administration’s priorities take shape,” he said. “This is simply my effort to provide a peek at what may be ahead.”

“Immigration was a central part of Donald Trump’s campaign as he called for deportations of illegal immigrants, proposed requiring Mexico to pay for a border wall, and called for mandating all employers use E-Verify to check the legal status of new hires,” McBurney said. “In actual policy terms, his stance was to take a hard line on enforcement of the current immigration system.”

Many of President–elect Trump’s ideas on immigration cannot be implemented without Congressional approval, he noted.

“Finding consensus will not be easy even in a Republican-controlled Congress,” McBurney said.

Focusing on the industry’s continuing challenge to find and keep workers, SAF has supported legislation creating a path to some kind of legalization for undocumented workers. Trump has not expressed support for that approach. If not done properly, efforts to curb illegal immigration could worsen an already difficult situation in the industry, especially for growers

SAF will continue to push in 2017 for immigration reform that helps growers access the labor they need, said McBurney. “But we’re also open to pragmatic solutions proposed by a Trump administration and other groups working on this difficult issue.”

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