After two years in the Oval Office, President Trump’s achievements can undoubtedly be acknowledged as his own and not merely the lingering effects of President Obama’s administration. The new NAFTA agreements, lower taxes, and deregulations on the industry — have led to a reinvigorated economy and the lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades.
Tariffs and Trade Agreements
One of the sore spots in Trump’s policies is the tariffs on imported steel. Whether it’s I-beams for construction or steel sheets for ornamental use — sale prices of imported steel are going up. This may have short-term negative effects, but it would also strengthen local steel mills and manufacturers. Though steel prices would eventually stabilize, prices are still expected to increase — so if you have some renovation or construction plans, buying now may save you a few bucks, suggests industry professionals from Wasatch Steel.
A Surge in Construction
Lower tax limits have led to one of the biggest surges in construction in the past years. Construction added 600,000 new jobs in 2017 and 2018 — but contractors are still scrambling for more skilled workers to fill their ranks. The sharp growth in the industry has led to a shortage of workers because of the overwhelming number of new projects.
Construction now employs more than 7.2 million Americans — the highest number in the past decade — but it is barely enough to meet the demands of an ever-growing industry. Construction companies have responded to the shortage with higher incomes, better benefits, and additional incentives to attract skilled workers and keep the ones in their rank. Construction job rates have long passed the $30 mark and rates will only go up as the industry scrounges for skilled labor in an ever-dwindling pool.
Reinvigorating the Manufacturing Sector
Numerous regulations and environmental policies under the Obama administration led to a slump in the manufacturing industry and thousands of laid-off workers. Trump promised to bring in jobs and in a way, he did. Trump managed to bring back $300 billion worth of revenue from multinational companies by bringing back their production base to the U.S. The manufacturing industry was also reinvigorated by several other factors, most of them Trump policies.
Deregulations provided the industry with more space to expand — something it was reluctant to do with the ever-changing policies of the Obama era. Tax cuts allowed manufacturers to bring in more capital and hire additional workers. The lower taxes also enabled manufacturers to jack up their production rates, as well as raise the income of their workers. Investor confidence also rose, giving the industrial sector a needed shot in the arm.
Though the government shutdown is starting to affect the stock market, manufacturing and construction are largely unaffected. While some Democrat leaders are against Trump’s policies that affect the two industries, especially the tax cuts, there’s little they can do since the Senate is still held by the Republicans.
Manufacturing and construction will continue to grow in the next two years. However, the next elections could drastically affect the policies enacted by the Trump government.