President-elect Donald Trump has lost no chance to bash or threaten individual companies that cross him.
Yet much of corporate America appears to view Trump not as an adversary but as a powerful friend. For all his bullying stance toward some companies, businesses have been cheered by his vows to slash taxes and soften Obama-era rules that were designed to protect workers, the environment and the financial system and by his choices to lead the Labor Department and Environmental Protection Agency.
The prospect of a stronger economy and richer profits is appealing enough that most businesses — and stock investors — are downplaying the uncertainties that followed Trump’s presidential victory last month. The Dow Jones industrial average has rocketed 8 percent to a record high since Election Day on expectations of faster economic growth.
Many manufacturers, which have been reeling for years from shrinking demand for their goods, say they view Trump as more sympathetic to their interests than President Barack Obama was.
“When he uses the phone, he does it to tell manufacturers that he supports them and wants them to create jobs in the United States,” said Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. “That is a far cry from what we hear in the current administration.”
The Obama administration helped bail out General Motors and Chrysler and halted a freefall in factory layoffs. But it also issued a series of environmental and labor rules that were designed to limit damage from climate change and raise pay for workers. Business-backed groups argue that such regulations have instead raised costs and depressed hiring.