Mining and natural resources

What president-elect trump's election victory really means for mining and natural resources

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I was fortunate to travel to the United States (Houston) in the week after President-Elect Trump's election victory, and to participate in the Global Energy Summit, hosted by Hogan Lovells. The Global Energy Summit was attended by senior executives from some of the world's leading energy companies, and the key theme, regardless of the panel topic, was what President-Elect Trump's victory meant for the US and the world.

There was a general acknowledgement that there is very little certainty around the consequences, and often, the response was "we just don’t know". Interestingly, the reason given was the difference between the message sent by Donald Trump on the campaign trail, and his apparent about-turn on several key aspects, post his election victory. Some of the views expressed suggested that a key element of President-Elect Trump's victory was the tolerance of or expectation that, on the campaign trail, certain levels of exaggeration are to be expected, and what is said cannot be taken literally. By the same token, explanations for Secretary Clinton's defeat included the perception by the voters that, while exaggeration is tolerable, and even acceptable, on the campaign trail, Secretary Clinton's response to the FBI Report on the now infamous leaked emails, was not acceptable, and went to the heart of voter concerns regarding integrity, and security of the US and its citizens.

Views were expressed that it was not necessarily a case of President-Elect Trump winning the election, but rather, Secretary Clinton, losing the election because of the concerns regarding integrity and US security, with President-Elect Trump's victory also representing a rejection of globalisation and the political establishment of Washington. The election victory is also being regarded as a vote for the changing of the political establishment and the perception that Washington has "lost contact with the people".

It seems that, there is some criticism of Secretary Clinton's lack of a clear economic message, and the expectation that, if she won the election, there would be "more of the same".

Turning to the question of what this all means, it seems that there are great expectations that President-Elect Trump will be guided by the Republican party, and the advisors that he is surrounding himself with, and that this will ultimately lead to a balanced approach.

A key concern which remains, is what the domestic and international response will be. Domestically, President-Elect Trump faced a number of protests, and there is always the possibility that these protests may result in US corporates and citizens being targeted in the various jurisdictions around the globe, where the US holds interests.

Until any changes that may be made by the Trump Administration, takes effect, and regulatory certainty is restored, there seems to be a level of political and investor confidence which will address political insecurity in the interim and ultimately, support US interests both domestically and abroad.

Warren Beech - Partner and Head of Mining

Hogan Lovells (South Africa) Inc.   

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