Hogan Lovells regulatory lawyers explore policy and political issues ahead of the 2020 U.S. Elections

Washington D.C., 31 July 2020 – Hogan Lovells held its kickoff 2020 Election Media Roundtable on 29 July exploring the top policy considerations as we head closer to Election Day.

The roundtable featured introductory remarks from Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar and D.C. Office Managing Partner Michele Farquhar, and featured in-depth analysis from several regulatory partners in our D.C. office.

You can find some of the key takeaways from the event below.

Ivan Zapien, Leader of the Hogan Lovells Government Relations and Public Affairs practice

  • Now that we are entering the final stage of the election, the global pandemic has brought us to a unique point of reflection. Normally during an incumbency a sitting president would have an advantage, but the U.S. pandemic response has brought an increased level of scrutiny on to Trump’s record in the last several months.
  • Biden will have more leeway to craft a message of empathy, competency, and what he will do for the country while Trump will have a narrower field to play in.
  • If there’s one thing you can count on in Washington, D.C., it’s that it is uncertain ahead. If you’re a public company or are in any sort of business you have no option but to move forward and work with whomever is in charge.

Norm Coleman, Senior counsel and former Republican Senator from Minnesota

  • The White House and the Senate are both up for grabs.
  • Looking ahead at prospects of winning who will win the White House and control the Senate, the most important thing is what are voters going to be asking themselves as they wake up on election morning? The question is who is going to get this economy moving again? Who is going to provide a greater opportunity for jobs? Who is going to provide a greater opportunity for my kids to be safe? Who is going to provide a greater opportunity for my kids to have a good education, to go to the school of their choice? In an international setting, who is going to protect America from China from some of the international challenges we face?

Jonathan Stoel, International Trade & Investment

  • Trump can point to a track record of success on pivotal international trade issues during his first term.
  • Biden also has a strong trade platform he can point to, including past successful relations with allies in Europe and Asia.
  • Relations with China in particular will remain a sticking point, with both candidates and both parties having strong points to make to voters.
  • One area of common ground will be a continued toughness on restricting foreign investment in the U.S. when there are concerns for national security and privacy.

Aaron Cutler, Financial Services

  • Wall Street is preparing for what they believe will be a Biden victory.
  • A Biden administration will lead to increased regulation and likely increased taxes as well.
  • Wall Street has benefited from the decreased regulation and taxes during the Trump administration, but there has not been approval of all his moves across the board.

Hilary Tompkins, Energy and the Environment

  • The election will be a battle of ideologies: domestic energy dominance vs. tackling climate change
  • The Trump administration has lived up to its deregulation agenda.
  • Biden’s message will be on addressing the climate crisis and need to protect the environment for future generations.
  • A challenge for a new administration will be handling the pendulum swing. Would a Biden administration attempt to undo everything the Trump administration did? That could frustrate companies and result in a lot of litigation.

Ken Choe, Healthcare

  • There has been a considerable flux in the healthcare regulatory area at the federal level, and that flux will continue regardless of the election outcome.
  • There is a stark divide between the candidates with respect to the future of the Affordable Care Act.
  • The pandemic has sparked many changes in health care, with the accelerated shift to telehealth an especially impactful one.
  • One area of common interest between the two candidates is drug pricing reform, which will continue to be a focus into 2021. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders should be prepared now to continue their engagement in this national conversations.


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