K Street lobbying firms are gearing up for life after Jan. 20, when Donald Trump, the new President of the United States, takes office and Washington comes under the administration of an outsider who promises to “drain the swamp.”
A new day is dawning in Washington, the likes of which no one has experienced and no one here really knows what to expect.
Besides businesses and industry, many foreign nations are angling or jockeying for position, having made calls to President-elect Trump to congratulate him on his election, among them: Egypt, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Israel, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
President-elect Trump took the calls and bucked past practices of U.S. political protocol. It immediately sent shock waves around the world and in D.C.: Was it a signal of what’s to come, i.e. the unexpected? Some of those countries are examining their strategic next moves seeing opportunity with a new U.S. President who is not business as usual and isn’t afraid to chart a new course.
Lobbying is $3-billion business in the U.S. and there is a great deal at stake for the K Street lobby firms, the public affairs firms and the public relations outfits that aim to be the maestros of the political and business worlds. On the streets here there is frenzy. Trepidation. And, among some, excitement.
“Donald Trump is an outsider and most lobby firms and public affairs firms thrive on business as usual and an insider status–it’s their bread and butter,” says Glenn Selig, a public relations executive with the firm The Publicity Agency, which has a significant public affairs unit. “Other firms may be scrambling. But we are looking forward to helping our clients succeed in this new environment. ”
Outside of the White House, there is, of course, still the U.S. Congress, which is not expected to change dramatically. The agenda in that arm of government may change, with new bills up for debate and new votes to take place. Among the issues to be tackled on Capitol Hill: immigration and health care.
“There’s going to be lots of business opportunities to focus on,” Republican lobbyist Marc Lampkin, who heads the lobbying group at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, tells the Washington Post. “You’re very likely to get, in the first six months, an overhaul of the tax code. You’re going to have some examination of both legal and illegal immigration. For the business community, legal immigration for a number of years has been a top priority. There’s going to be lots of businesses that are going to want to have an impact in Washington.”
SOURCE: The Publicity Agency
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