How the Trump agenda could change the way St. Louis does business

He would cut taxes, repeal the Affordable Care Act, build roads and build walls — a real one against Mexican immigrants and a tariff wall against unfair imports. President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda for America will make a difference in the lives of many people and change the way St. Louis does business — if he can pass it.

Here’s a rundown on what Trump wants to do and how it might affect St. Louis:

Health care

Trump has repeatedly promised to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health law, but he may find that easier said than done. Complete repealing or replacement would take 60 votes in the Senate, and the GOP will have only 51 senators on Inauguration Day.

Under Senate rules, those 51 votes are enough to cut funding for Obamacare insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion. But repealing the subsidies without repealing the law would probably cause complete collapse in the market for individual health insurance, says Tim McBride, a professor at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work and Public Health.

Defunding would also set off a “death spiral” in the individual health insurance business, says McBride, prompting cries from millions of self-employed people, early retirees and others who get no Obamacare subsidy at all.

Trade

St. Louis buys from the world and sells to it — and Trump may influence both.

Trump made trade a major issue, blaming the North American Free Trade Agreement for causing “devastation” in the Midwest. He wants to renegotiate the deal and cancel it if Canada and Mexico won’t go along.

His complaints might resonate with roughly 1,500 workers who were laid off early this year from United States Steel’s Granite City Works. The big steelmaker cited unfairly cheap imports from Asia as one reason for the mill’s partial shutdown, although a fall in demand for steel pipe from the suffering U.S. oil industry was a major cause.

Jefferies, an investment firm, upgraded U.S. Steel stock to a buy after the vote, saying it should benefit from Trump’s trade policies.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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