It didn’t take long for the markets to recover from the prospect of a Trump White House. Despite a drop of more than 800 points in the Dow futures overnight, by the time the markets opened Wednesday, it was pretty much business as usual.

Some Maine industries will likely benefit from President-elect Donald Trump’s policy agenda, including his desire to build up the military. That could help Bath Iron Works, which lost out on a critical, $10 billion Coast Guard contract earlier this year. It takes years for new contracts to translate into work at the yard, but Trump’s proposal to lift the sequester spending caps on defense and expand the naval fleet from 280 to 350 vessels bodes well for industries like General Dynamics, parent company of BIW, and United Technologies Corp., parent of Pratt & Whitney. Both companies saw their stock prices shoot up 5.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, over the course Wednesday’s trading.

Managers at New Balance sneaker factories in Maine, which employ about 900 people, are also likely relieved. Trump is no fan of free-trade agreements and has denounced the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would open new Asian and Pacific Rim markets for U.S.-made goods and lift import restrictions on products made elsewhere. New Balance has been an outlier in the footwear industry, which has strongly endorsed the TPP, saying that implementation could derail domestic sales of its athletic footwear.


Trump also has vowed to reverse the 22-year-old NAFTA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. While it’s unclear how much of his campaign rhetoric will translate into actual policy, reversing NAFTA could have real consequences in Maine. Canadian companies such as Irving, TransCanada, McCain and SunLife have made significant investments here and support more than 38,000 Maine jobs, according to the Canadian government and the Maine International Trade Center. Maine and Canada engaged in $3.2 billion of bilateral trade in 2014, making our neighbor to the north Maine’s perennial top trading partner.

Commercial fisheries are another area where there’s potential impact from Trump policies. Cliff White, editor of Seafood Source, said the industry will have to wait and see, but “Trump’s campaign slogan of ‘America first’ and his stated dislike for ‘overregulation’ of U.S. industries due to environmental concerns may have an impact on his administration’s stance on fishing in the United States.”


Energy is another gray area. Trump prefers fossil fuels to renewables. As president, he has the power to appoint members to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and influence policies of the Department of Energy. The University of Maine’s floating, offshore wind farm is waiting for word on a $40 million DOE grant. As Press Herald energy reporter Tux Turkel points out, no one knows whether the New England Aqua Ventus project will survive under Trump, or whether a solidly Republican Congress will appropriate the money.


As for small businesses, there are multiple effects in the wings. David Clough, Maine director if the National Federation of Independent Business, said his 3,000-plus members are looking for three things from a Trump administration: health care reform that is less costly and burdensome than the Affordable Care Act; a single tax rate for business so that mom-and-pop businesses are not taxed at a higher rate than large corporations; and regulatory reforms that would relieve the effects of things like the new federal overtime laws.

“These are all things that impose greater costs on small business and put greater burdens on their ability to power the American economy,” Clough said.

As for the success of the referendum to raise Maine’s minimum wage, Clough said his members are concerned about its impact in rural parts of the state where $12 an hour and its “ladder effect” on other wages could cripple small businesses. He said he will join other opponents to seek redress through the 128th Legislature.

Business Editor Carol Coultas can be contacted at 791-6460 or at:

[email protected]

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2016 to correct the age of NAFTA.