Within banking, oil and gas, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and automakers, among many other industries, there’s an irrational exuberance about the prospect of reduced regulation under the Trump administration. Some people are licking their chops anticipating a repeal of Dodd-Frank, suspended environmental regulations, reduced consumer privacy controls, and a rollback of fuel standards for American cars.
However, regulatory retrenchment will ignite an enormous backlash by activists who fought hard to establish those regulatory standards. The Trump administration and its priorities have already been a boon to political activism that might otherwise been more restrained.
“Americans did not vote to be exposed to more health, safety, environmental and financial dangers,” said a letter signed by leaders of 137 nonprofit groups to the White House recently.
Smart companies are already preparing for a business climate where they will be under increased scrutiny by activists and consumer groups. And it’s only a matter of time before the regulatory pendulum will be reversed.
The takeaway: Before you get too comfortable in the new regulatory environment, you should anticipate how newly motivated activist organizations, and the millions of Americans they represent, will strike back.