News Releases

Priorities for a new Trump Administration


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2016 - With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, Baker Botts lawyers have examined many of the major legal and regulatory issues facing the new President.

We have provided their individual perspectives on how President-elect Trump’s Administration might proceed over the next four years.

Corporate - Private Equity - Samantha Crispin, Dallas based Partner

“In his tax plan, President-elect Trump has proposed to eliminate capital gains tax treatment for carried interest in favor of higher ordinary income tax rates.”

“This change would have a significant impact on the compensation earned by private equity and hedge fund managers and venture capitalists and could lead to changes in investment strategies and potentially fewer investments in start-up and distressed U.S. companies.”

Securities Litigation - Jonathan Shapiro, San Francisco based Partner

“President-elect Trump has called for the total repeal or a partial dismantling of Dodd Frank. If that remains the plan, it is not at all clear today how or when he could get that done, what, if any, subset of Dodd Frank would remain standing and whether that process would bring still other reforms or other legislative accommodations.”

White-Collar Investigations - Andy Lankler, New York based Partner

“A Trump administration may seek to have an Independent Counsel or Special Prosecutor appointed to conduct an independent review of Ms. Clinton’s treatment of classified information on her personal server.”

“The prior review by the FBI and DOJ does not preclude such a step.”

Environmental – Steven Leifer, Washington D.C. based Partner & Firmwide Environmental Department Chair

“The election of Donald Trump is likely to have a considerable impact on U.S. environmental policy as President-elect Trump has made no secret of his belief that American business is overregulated.”

“President-elect Trump has said he will cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency and roll back several recent EPA initiatives, including the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.”

“He has said that there is too much frivolous litigation by environmental groups, and thus we may see efforts to shift enforcement of the coal ash rule out of the hands of private parties and into the purview of state regulatory agencies.”

“President-elect Trump has said that America should focus on developing its fossil fuel reserves to achieve energy independence, which may lead to withdrawing the BLM rule, now in litigation, purporting to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. As well, President-elect Trump has expressed a more favorable attitude towards energy projects such as the Keystone Pipeline.”

“With respect to federal lands, he favors keeping them in federal hands, which places him at odds with mainstream Republicans who support turning over ownership of a portion of those lands to the states.”

Technology / Intellectual Property - Barton Showalter, Dallas based Partner

“President-elect Trump has proposed IP-related reforms that could prevent the theft of American intellectual property by opposing the Chinese government’s requirements for U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese competitors.”

Energy - Jason Bennett, Houston based Partner

“We anticipate an initial period of uncertainty while energy policy is more closely formulated and direction is provided to the agencies.  Federal agencies will likely continue current Obama administration policies until directed otherwise.”

“We anticipate that President-elect Trump will provide support for oil and gas drilling and the coal industry as sources of high wage middle class jobs.”

“A likely reduction of the constraints on U.S. exports of hydrocarbons, including more permissive LNG export policies. Over the medium term, a reduction in regulation in the energy sphere and a promotion of investment in energy infrastructure and activities."

“President-elect Trump has also indicated less focus on climate change as an essential part of energy policy.”

Energy Regulation - Joshua Davidson, Houston based Partner

“The current administration has been vocal in its criticism and aggressive in its regulation of the oil and gas and coal industries while promoting the development of certain forms of renewable or clean energy.”

“A Trump administration would likely slow or reverse the adoption of measures that restrict the domestic development and use of fossil fuels in the interest of protecting jobs and reducing the cost of energy.”

Supreme CourtAaron Streett, Houston based Partner

“Mr. Trump is the first presidential candidate who committed to nominate a Supreme Court Justice from a list of judges released before the election. He will be under intense pressure to select one of the conservative judges on that list to replace Justice Scalia.”

“If Mr. Trump does not keep his promise, he will open an immediate rift with many conservatives who supported his candidacy primarily because of the importance of nominating conservative Justices to the Supreme Court.”

Tax - Jeff Munk, Washington D.C. based Partner

“President-elect Trump moderated his tax proposals over the course of the campaign and to some extent conformed them to the House ‘Blueprint’ for tax reform. But his plans to cut the corporate tax rate, and repeal the alternative minimum tax, while repealing most business credits, may run up against the realities of Congressional politics and budget process.”

“President-elect Trump may find more agreement over ending deferral of tax on foreign business income and imposing a one-time tax on accumulated foreign earnings in a more populist Congress. His call to end capital gains tax treatment for carried interests could find broader support.”

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