Then, there is the issue of politics, business and economic development.
On Friday, this country, this region and this world will change suddenly. A new president and a new US Congress, intending to make the country great, yet, needing to make much of the world and nation comfortable with the anticipated changes.
So, what can this region expect in the area of Louisiana economic development under a Republican congress and a business icon, President Donald Trump?
In many ways, Louisiana could greatly benefit from Trump’s presidency and the Republican majority in Congress. The state’s economy depends upon oil and gas. Trump wants to reverse many of the regulations that burdened that industry over the past eight years under democrat Barack Obama. The President-elect is also discussing a major infrastructure push that could substantially assist the state’s own battered coast and deficient roads and bridges.
However, there could be some downsides too with a Trump administration. The New Orleans region is greatly dependent upon its port. It is uncertain whether Trump’s trade policies would hurt or help the state, especially, should there be trade wars.
Also, the question whether artificial trade restrictions are useful. Trump cites the trade imbalance as unfair and harmful to the United States and chiefly practiced by China and Mexico. Yet, would imposing taxes and tariffs, closing borders and markets be the answer?
During the last part of the interview with Michael Hecht, we discussed the real needs of the state and the economic development region that he represents, which is rich in oil and gas, high technology, shipping, healthcare and richly laden with natural and man-made resources. In closing out the interview, my general inquiry to Hecht was--if Congress and the President-elect, were watching the video, what would you tell them would be our greatest need?
Also, while Trump pledges to reshape the trading parameters, would that impact our region, positively or negatively? Is the issue really unfair trade practices and imbalances or is it more systemic?
Last, for those who are young and who are seeking career opportunities (or those even younger, who will be seeking a secure career in the further future), what are the disciplines that could greater assure job stability and growth while residing in this region yet competing in the fast-changing world?
These questions and more are discussed in the final video interview with Michael Hecht.