Date: 11 Jan 2017, 8:00 - 11:00
Host: DONG Energy, Nesa Allé 1, 2820 Gentofte
The US election has taken place and Donald Trump is the winner! At this exciting pre-Inauguration event, kindly hosted by DONG Energy, DABF members and guests got insights into what the new administration might mean for Danish companies doing business in the US
Participants of this morning session heard from several expert speakers about how the new administration is likely to impact Danish business in the US.
Firstly, participants heard from The U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, in one of his final appearances before he leaves Denmark. Despite uncertainty, he admitted he is an “eternal optimist”, and emphasized the real and strong growth in the US, the long record streak of employment, as well as real wage growth. The 2017 outlook for Danish-American trade remains positive as well, and the Ambassador advises Danish companies to continue to push forward and invest in the US. The Danish brand is well-known in the US, and there is a strong demand for Danish technology and know-how. The Ambassador emphasized that the coming years will hold federal level change, but that “the magic does not happen at the federal level”. Danish companies should look at the US regionally, at state or even city level.
The Ambassador introduced Laura Lochman, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy of Denmark, who will be in charge of the Embassy’s affairs until the new Ambassador is appointed (which is not likely to happen before August 2017 at the earliest).
Secondly, Anders Agner, journalist, author, and editor of Kongressen.com, gave his perspective on what the political changes in the US mean. He gave a brief, to-the-point account of the Republican’s rise to power in both political chambers as well as the Presidential office, followed by an analysis of what this is likely to mean for the near future in US politics. He doesn’t see big changes coming soon, but the Republicans will certainly try to pull America in their direction. The scale and speed is uncertain, and the future depends on the Democrats’ ability to pull together and react to the Republican majority. Also, Trump is not fully in synch with the Republican agenda, so we may see Republicans and Democrats working together in certain situations to counteract him.
Next, Mikael Olai Milhøj, Senior Analyst, Danske Bank, discussed the likely economic implications of the new presidential administration and referred to the term Trumponomics. The US remains the world’s most important economy and Denmark’s third largest export market, and in fact consumer confidence and small business optimism are at all-time high! Therefore it is a good time to invest and hire in the US – the growth is likely to continue at its current pace at least short term. Mikael expects Trump to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy, which will have its greatest growth impact in 2018 – but in the end, no one knows yet how Trump will act as “Twitter President”.
Finally, Martin Neubert, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Wind Power, DONG Energy, gave his perspective from a commercial angle. Offshore Wind is becoming a cost effective and economically viable large scale renewable energy source with a high expected growth path globally, and has gained significant momentum in the US driven by progressive RES policies at state level. Martin suggested that offshore wind should resonate well with Trump’s key priorities to promote domestic energy sources, revitalize US infrastructure and foster job creation and economic development. Danish companies looking to grow in US should consider giving extra focus to these priority areas. As with the other speakers, he talked about the fact that the process for changing laws in the US is a long one, and that offshore wind is enshrined in Federal law. While Trump can revoke Executive Orders, the crucial rules are controlled by the state legislators. The only risk to offshore wind is potential delay in the permitting process, either driven by deliberate policies or budget reallocations. While tax credits are important, removal of the Federal level Clean Power Plan or Product Tax Credits for Renewable Energy won’t make or break the industry.
Registration, light breakfast, networking
Einar Dyrhauge, Executive Director Danish-American Business Forum and Mikkel Sjølin Kiil, Vice President, Sales B2B, DONG Energy
The US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford
Now What, America?
Anders Agner Pedersen, Journalist and Author, Editor Kongressen.com
Coffee break and networking
US post-election economic outlook
Mikael Olai Milhøj, Senior Analyst, Danske Bank
The new US President and offshore wind
Martin Neubert, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Wind Power, DONG Energy
Official Photographer: Mayra Navarrete