Will Republicans Stand with Trump on Spending?

President Trump is racing ahead to make good on campaign promises, taking executive action to reform immigration policies, revive stalled oil pipeline projects, chip away at Obamacare and push along his highly publicized wall along the Mexico border.

But Congress is likely to pump the brakes on some of Trump’s big-ticket items, as fiscal hawks in his own party worry about the deficit and Democrats remain unwilling to cooperate with the new president. Continue reading “Will Republicans Stand with Trump on Spending?”

U.S. Tech Firms Brace for a Tougher Road Ahead

It’s going to get tougher for high-tech firms to do business overseas as protectionist policies increase across the globe. U.S. tech firms are being forced to divulge source code, store data locally, weaken security, reveal data and more to appease foreign countries trying to prop up their own domestic technology sectors. Some nations are blocking U.S. tech firms outright. Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Dell, Amazon, IBM and other American tech companies, large and small, face the problem.

China is especially challenging, imposing rules that hinder U.S. firms in cloud computing, cybersecurity, semiconductors, e-commerce and social media. The nation is dead set on boosting its own high-tech economy, from social media to semiconductors, and is squeezing out more concessions from companies. The longtime concern that China’s policies lead to intellectual property theft will only intensify. Continue reading “U.S. Tech Firms Brace for a Tougher Road Ahead”

Will Trump and Putin Be Buddies?

Donald Trump’s first 100 days will feature plenty of speculation about the president making nice with Russia. Indeed, there are already rumblings about a potential nuclear summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, the same city where three decades ago Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev started negotiations that would eventually bring the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion. Trump has also hinted at the possibility of lifting sanctions on Moscow should the Kremlin prove a valuable ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

But don’t expect the new president to make any bold moves right away. Developing a coherent foreign policy takes time. Despite the infamous “reset” photo-op, it took several months for the Obama administration to devise its Russia strategy, according to Michael Kofman, a senior fellow at the Wilson Center. For Trump, this task will be made extra difficult by a number of factors. Continue reading “Will Trump and Putin Be Buddies?”

The Growing Risk to Uncle Sam’s Outdated Computer Network

One challenge president-elect Donald Trump must confront when he takes office: Upgrading the world’s largest IT system. The state of much of the federal government’s information technology is dismal, with huge swaths of IT in dire need of modernization. A survey commissioned by Dell last summer noted that the federal government had an “alarming” reliance on legacy hardware and software. “We have to stop kicking the can down the road regarding modernization,” says Cameron Chehreh, chief technology officer of Dell EMC Federal.

How bad are things? Our nuclear arsenal still uses floppy discs and tax information runs on top of 1950s computer code. Many agencies have no plans for upgrading outdated systems. Continue reading “The Growing Risk to Uncle Sam’s Outdated Computer Network”

Highlights From “How Your Business Will be Affected by the Trump Administration”

In case you missed our recent webinar discussing how the incoming Trump administration will affect businesses, here are some detailed highlights of the discussion, which covered everything from the future of Obamacare to taxes and environmental regulations.

Continue reading “Highlights From “How Your Business Will be Affected by the Trump Administration””

Where Heating Fuel Prices Go From Here

With much of the U.S. feeling the effects of cold and snowy weather, now seems like an appropriate time to check in on heating fuel supplies and hazard some guesses about where fuel prices go from here. Many residential and business customers caught a break on heating costs last winter, with historically mild temperatures in many places. But the situation looks a bit different now that the calendar reads 2017.

Sizing Up Heating Fuel Stockpiles

Any analysis of winter heating costs has to start with how much natural gas, propane and heating oil is on hand to meet the season’s heating needs. And for the most part, those stocks of stored fuel look ample. Continue reading “Where Heating Fuel Prices Go From Here”

Promising Cancer Drugs Coming Soon

The war on cancer is on the verge of getting a number of new weapons. Many of them involve a novel approach known as immunotherapy, in which the body’s own immune system is engaged to fight the cancer.

One emerging immunotherapy treatment, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, could be approved this year. CAR-T therapy involves genetically altering a patient’s T-cells — a type of white blood cell — to help the immune system find and kill cancer cells. The modified cells are infused into the patient after they are altered in the lab. Continue reading “Promising Cancer Drugs Coming Soon”

Trump’s Cybersecurity Challenges

Among the biggest questions facing President-elect Donald Trump: What will be the new “norms” of cyberspace in a rapidly changing technological and geopolitical landscape? The answer is far from clear. Moreover, there is very little precedent for tackling some of the thorniest problems the president must confront.

Expect Trump to favor firm retaliation for any major cyber-breaches, especially if China is the culprit. He has already voiced his intention to take a harder line against Beijing on a range of issues, including trade. China, meanwhile, will be more inclined to challenge the U.S. if it feels its vital interests, such as Taiwan and the “One-China” policy, are truly at stake. Continue reading “Trump’s Cybersecurity Challenges”

Even Without Tax Cuts, Consumers Will Boost Economy

Consumers will shoulder the burden of keeping the economy on track in 2017 while waiting for Donald Trump’s tax cuts to be passed. Low unemployment, job and wage growth will keep money in consumers’ pockets, while the rise in the stock market since the election will provide a bit of an extra bump up to spending.

Consumer spending should rise by about 2.8% in 2017, up from 2.6% in 2016. 2017 will be the fourth straight year that consumer spending growth will have been markedly higher than overall GDP growth, indicating how much this spending is carrying the economy. Continue reading “Even Without Tax Cuts, Consumers Will Boost Economy”