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The Day After: Industry, government leaders react to Trump triumph


By Steve Bittenbender
Editor, Government Security News

Donald Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s Presidential election came to some as a surprise, and in the hours after the Republican businessman defeated Hillary Clinton, those involved in government security began to issue their responses to that outcome.

The Rand Corporation, a non-profit and non-partisan public policy research organization, laid out on its Web site five security challenges that will likely test the Trump administration. Those challenges include: North Korea’s emerging nuclear capabilities, maintaining relations with both Russia and China, defeating terror group Islamic State and properly managing the country’s cyber infrastructure.

Regarding cybersecurity, “(T)he incoming administration’s great challenge will be to bring order to the policy landscape, treating cyberspace as an integral part of global economic, societal, and geopolitical systems,” according to Rand’s Web site.

The Aerospace Industries Association said it looked forward to working with the President-elect and the Republican Congress in 2017. In its statement the AIA said its representatives met with Trump in June to talk about the association’s positions on issues related to both aerospace and defense.

Among the five issues the AIA wants addressed in the next year include:

  • Eliminating budget caps it believes harm the country’s security
  • Making the Export-Import Bank whole to expand trade and job opportunities
  • Enhancing cooperation among America’s allies and other partners in security
  • Developing regulations that improve association members’ chances of competing globally
  • Increasing investments in civil aviation infrastructure and space programs

“The aerospace and defense industry is an important engine for the U.S. economy and looks forward to working together on the safety and security of our nation,” the AIA said in its statement.

Another industry that will seek help with regulatory reforms is the railroad industry. Within the past year, rail leaders have criticized attempts by federal officials to mandate two-person crews on most freight trains. In addition, industry officials have had concerns about the implementation of regulations regarding Positive Train Control and the transportation of crude oil via rail.

Edward Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, said in a statement that he hopes Trump will use his business expertise to help reform a regulatory system that’s “broken.” The AAR also looks forward to continuing its dialogue with the Republican-controlled Senate in the next year as well.

“We look forward to continued dialogue on our most important issues, including stopping unfounded regulatory efforts at the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, and are eager to begin a new legislative session,” Hamberger said.

Border security served as a key platform for Trump throughout his campaign. Specifically, he has called for a wall to be built along the Mexican border in an attempt to curb illegal immigration and for the deportation of any aliens engaged in criminal activity. The controversial plan drew criticism from some of his opponents in the Republican primary as well as from Clinton and immigration activists

In speaking with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and other GOP leaders will talk with President-elect Trump about his agenda. While the Kentucky Republican said he wants to achieve border security in the most effective manner possible, he did not indicate whether he supported Trump’s idea.

“Border security is important,” he said. “I think even our Democratic friends realize we haven’t done a very good job of that, and achieving border security is something that should be high on the list.”


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