From The Editor

Advice to the President, Whomever He May Be

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As I sit down to write this column, there is approximately one week until the 2020 Presidential Election. I’m still knee-deep in debate coverage, latest polls and approved messages, with seemingly no end in sight.  

Yet, as you sit down to read this, the end has already come and gone. With any luck, we know who won the race and won’t have to endure six more weeks of legal wrangling between the candidates, the parties and their supporters. That’s about as appealing as adding another month to 2020. 

Still, that places this column in a unique space, where Election Day is both not yet here and already past. It’s the Schrödinger’s Cat of From the Editor entries.
With that in mind, I thought I’d offer a few pieces of advice, and my congratulations, from the metals supply chain to our next president.

Dear Mr. Trump, 
Congratulations on your triumph. You truly deserved it. As you embark on your next four years in office, I’d like you to keep these things in mind:

  • Remember infrastructure. When you ran for the White House in 2016, you pledged a major, groundbreaking (literally) infrastructure build. And for the first two years of your term, you continued to push for that much-needed program.
    No progress has been made on a massive public works project, and it seems to have fallen off your radar as a top priority. Please, return it to the forefront. 
  • Don’t use trade tools with abandon. There are pros and cons to the tariff-heavy approach you’ve taken to foreign trade, and we’ve covered them pretty thoroughly at MCN. But one thing that would serve the manufacturing sector well is if you take a certain position and let it alone. Don’t dangle tariff removal for some other consideration, or threaten more punitive levies against a nation you have a disagreement with. American companies can adapt to just about any set of circumstances, but a consistent and predictable framework always provides the best opportunity for profitable operations.
  • For all our sakes, stop tweeting. 

Dear Mr. Biden,
Congratulations on becoming our 46th President. You truly deserved it. As you prepare for this immense challenge, please consider this: 
  • Be you. Despite suggestions to the contrary, you’ve been a centrist Democrat for the entirety of your political life. Don’t get pulled to the economic left by that vocal wing of the party. 
  • Take your time. I’m sure you’ll be interested in undoing some of the policy positions your predecessor has taken. That’s natural. But be judicious. Before reinstating regulations on businesses and industries, make sure you examine how existing deregulation efforts have played out. You say you want to follow the science. Well, here, follow the data. 
  • Finally, remember infrastructure. See above. 

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