BGA Washington Update: Trump, Congress, and the US midterm elections

Trade tensions, sanctions, and a budget deadline dominate DC’s agenda ahead of November 6

Berlin Global Advisors (BGA) provides geopolitical risk & investment advisory services to financial investors and corporate clients.  Our Washington Update keeps clients informed on key policy developments from both the US legislative and executive branches that will impact markets and high-level decision making.

Speed Read

  • Trade: Trump’s multilateral tariffs have sent shockwaves through the global trade market, causing uncertainty in crossborder supply chains, including manufacturing and agriculture. Although talks with the EU over bilateral trade appear promising for now, universal steel and aluminum tariffs remain, tit-for tats with China and Turkey are ongoing and NAFTA talks with Canada have reached an impasse.
  • CFIUS Reform: Reforms to expand the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) have become law at a time when Chinese investments in tech and infrastructure have gained greater bipartisan scrutiny. What will key provisions mean for the investment community?
  • Sanctions: Fresh US sanctions on Russia and Iran are directly impacting EU businesses in particular, with projects like the controversial Nordstream 2 hanging in the balance.
  • Bank Regulation: Changes to the Volker Rule, initially proposed to reverse provisions unfavorable to the financial services industry are now causing rifts between US banks and regulators. Industry leaders claim new compliance rules will hurt their global competitiveness against counterparts in Europe and Asia.
  • US Budget: Cuts to the State Department appear inevitable, but the US House and Senate need to compromise over their own spending differences between their respective budget bills. They will have 30 days to reach conference or hope for a continuing resolution to serve as a temporary band aid.

 BGA Experts

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson

New York

Todd’s Bio
Todd is Vice President, Public Affairs at SKDKnickerbocker in New York. From 2016-2018, he was a Senior Consultant at BGA in Berlin where he focused on global trade, FDI, financial regulatory policy and reputational risk. Prior to BGA, he was a Robert Bosch Fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi).

From 2011-2015 he was a member of the global government relations & public policy team at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and from 2009 – 2011, he was a presidential appointee in the Obama administration with the Office of Congressional Relations (OCR) and the Rural Development Agency at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). During this period, he also worked on the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers.  On Capitol Hill, Todd served as a legislative assistant in the office of Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-4) covering financial services, education, and budget policy.

He received his MA in Communication, Culture & Technology from Georgetown University and his BA from the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University.

Jürgen Chrobog

Jürgen Chrobog

Jürgen’s Bio
Ambassador Chrobog is a BGA Partner and a former State Secretary at the German Foreign Office and was Germany’s Ambassador to the United States. As State Secretary of the German Foreign Service​, he was directly responsible for Asia, Africa, the Near and Middle East and Latin America and dealt with Foreign Trade and Economic matters comprising Export Control and Export Guarantees.

His experience spans countries such as Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia and the Gulf States, where he consulted with leading politicians for many years. After his diplomatic career, Ambassador Chrobog served as Chairman of the BMW Foundations Herbert Quandt from 2013 to 2015 and was a board member of MAN Ferro Stahl. ​