A few words on the year ahead from Terry Schultz, President of EFCO Finishing, a metal finishing service provider privately owned and operated in Butler, Wisconsin since 1945.
I have waited to write about 2017 as long as I could. As a metal finishing service provider in Wisconsin and as a leader of a small family business, I have a unique perspective on the state of manufacturing under the recent changes in our country. We’ve inaugurated Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, the stock market recently closed over 20,000 for the first time ever, and I’ve been listening to numerous numerous “experts” and “prognosticators,” all during the month of January, which is nearly complete.
The overall feeling that I am hearing over and over again, especially among manufacturers and business leaders, is one of optimism. People are truly excited to have some fresh talent in the White House, especially the conservative and experienced cabinet picks President Trump is surrounding himself with. The nominees have all been “around the block”, and what they may lack in government experience they make up for with real world and business successes.
President Trump’s unconventional style has many insiders “nervous”. If the economist at the BizTimes breakfast said he was “concerned” once, he said it 50 times. The media are not used to being challenged, but I think it is just too early to tell.
Positives that people are talking about and hoping for include scaling back cumbersome regulations, tax cuts, overhauling Obamacare, creating jobs, stimulating the economy, aggressively going after terrorism, immigration reform, and putting “America first” again. Some concerns include interest rate hikes – the projection being three individual quarter point hikes, if the stock market can maintain the “post election bump” we’ve been enjoying, and the possibility of a trade war.
To conclude, and to all those who are fearful, I would say President Trump deserves a chance to succeed just like those who came before him. So far he is honoring his campaign promises, and while it is too early to say exactly what the next four years may bring, we need to put the pre-election rhetoric behind us and unite as a country. We still live in the greatest country in the world, and may need to remind ourselves of that periodically. Like any solid organization or family, we are stronger when united, and working towards a common goal. I wish everyone the best of luck for a prosperous year ahead!