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Election of Donald Trump as President of the USA - implications for business & human rights

So a billionaire businessman will be the next President of the United States.  Not only that, but one whose business practices have often been presented as epitomizing wealth-generation for the few, at the expense of others. What does the election of Donald J Trump as President of the USA have to say for the business and human rights movement? 

Clarity on this will take time.  However it is clear that within the US and internationally the struggle for equality, human rights and climate action is more pressing than ever.  Organized action by civil society and workers groups will be essential to achieve these goals.  And business must speak out for diversity, and against growing divisions and the silencing of dissent. 

Find views from the movement here, and share yours on Twitter using the hashtags #bizhumanrights #TrumpPresidency

See also:
Human rights NGOs & journalists raise concerns over nomination of ExxonMobil CEO as Secretary of State
President-elect Trump's appointees reviewed by Senate amid questions over records & policies on business & human rights
Tech companies say they would oppose Trump's proposed Muslim immigrant registry


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14 November 2016

Billionaires & Big Business Line Up To Help U.S. President Elect-Donald Trump

Author: Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch

Billionaire businessmen and lobbyists are lining up to help Donald Trump after his victory in the U.S. presidential election. Trump appears to be welcoming them with open arms, despite his claim to bring change to Washington DC and get rid of special interests. [refers to the following companies: Continental Resources, Lucas Oil, Baker Hostetler, Murray Energy, Alliance Coal, TransCanada; also refers to people associated with Goldman Sachs, WL Ross, Koch Industries, Walt Disney, Aetna, Verizon]

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13 November 2016

"2016: No more business as usual"

Author: Annabel Short, Deputy Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In September, US President Obama called in an address to the UN General Assembly for a different path from “soulless capitalism that benefits only the few".

There are many layers to Donald Trump’s Presidential victory, but on one level it represents the excesses of “soulless capitalism” coming home to roost...

During the election cycle, I wondered if post-election business would take the high road or the low road.  Now, more than ever, respect for human rights must lie at the heart of how business is done...

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12 November 2016

Progressives, Unite: Commentary by Amol Mehra, ICAR

Author: Amol Mehra, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

The shocking election results in this year’s Presidential election have sent shivers through the progressive community. The future leadership of the world’s strongest democracy is a polarizing business man who appealed to a latent frustration in the American electorate for change - not a change towards a new ideal, but rather a reversion to a time long passed where women, immigrants and others are less than equal.

Worse still, the tone from the top will also surely effect the entire nature of our society, including the very institutions that were set up to ensure the rights of all people are respected, and to hold accountable those that seek to profit off of abuse, including corporations. What we have, therefore, is no longer a hypothetical threat to the progressive community, but a real and resourced one.

The antidote for the spread of fear, hate and intolerance is simple: unity...

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11 November 2016

USA: Time for renewed vigilance for equality and human rights

Author: Center for Economic and Social Rights

...Statements made during the campaign raise serious fears that the inequality crisis will become even more acute under the new administration. As a recent CESR report highlights, reducing economic inequality from a human rights perspective requires a set of redistributive and pre-distributive policies such as tackling discrimination, protecting labor rights and levelling the playing field through progressive taxation and well-resourced social services such as health and education. These policies are diametrically opposed to those espoused by the president-elect. Behind the rhetorical pledge of massive job creation lies an agenda for corporate deregulation with potentially disastrous consequences for labor, social and environmental rights. Internationally, the likely disengagement from multilateralism could put the brakes on ongoing progress to tackle fundamental global human rights concerns such as climate change, cross-border tax abuse and the sustainable development agenda...

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10 November 2016

Global Witness Statement on the US elections

Author: Global Witness

The US election result must be a rallying cry for change. At Global Witness, we have never been more committed to our mission to protect human rights and tackle corruption, environmental destruction and climate change. This vote, like Brexit in the UK, is emblematic of the disillusionment of people with a political system that is driving hyper-inequality. It is also part of a growing and deeply worrying trend around the world towards a more racist, sexist, xenophobic, inward-looking, and fear-based mentality. The rhetoric of Trump’s campaign may have helped elect him but it will not withstand legal scrutiny or the force of our fight.

We must recognize that our political systems are failing our people because they are consistently paid to deliver private gain rather than public good...

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10 November 2016

Trump Expected to Seek Deep Cuts in Business Regulations

Author: New York Times

The unwinding of Dodd-Frank. The firing up of shuttered coal plants. The rollback of rules that increase overtime pay for low-wage workers.

Hours after Donald J Trump won the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped corporate America in the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable.

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9 November 2016

Trump victory: corporate winners and losers

Author: Financial Times

Companies doing business in Mexico, heavily exposed to global trade, or reliant upon US regulation were judged the big losers under a Donald Trump presidency by international stock market investors on Wednesday.

Markets’ reaction to Mr Trump’s election victory softened as the day unfolded, but shareholders immediately marked out those businesses potentially hit by his policies, as well as many clear winners, most notably in pharmaceuticals and biotech, oil and gas, and defence.

Shares in Vestas, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, were among the biggest fallers as investors worried about the future of renewable energy.

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9 November 2016

"The first big winners of Donald Trump’s victory are private prison companies, whose stocks are soaring"

Author: Hanna Kozlowska Jason Karaian, Quartz

Following the election of Donald Trump to US president, shares in the country’s two major private-prison companies soared, presumably banking on a hike in immigration detentions under a Trump administration, and a better climate for privatizing criminal justice.  CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), jumped 34%, while GEO Group rose 18%, as of 10:30am ET Wednesday morning.

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9 November 2016

USCIB Statement on the U.S. Election Results

Author: United States Chamber of International Business

We congratulate Donald J. Trump on his election as our next President...

It is important for the United States to remain engaged globally and provide leadership on a range of issues affecting our national prosperity, including international trade, climate change, sustainability and support for a rules-based global economy...

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8 November 2016

Trump presidency may spell disaster for climate

Author: Joydeep Gupta, China Dialogue

"Trump presidency may spell disaster for climate", 9 Nov 2016

The election of Donald Trump may prove a disaster for the climate and especially for climate change negotiations if he sticks to the threats made during his campaign. But it may provide the developing world – especially China – with an opportunity to take on the role of leader in the fight against climate change. If Trump’s campaign trail promises come true then on his first day in office, the new President may rescind Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, “end the war on coal” and cut funding for renewables…Overturning the Clean Power Plan may not be easy. The move would likely be challenged and the case could drag on for over a year, according to experts in Washington. For the rest of the world though, the Clean Power Plan is the part that concerns people the least, as it is mostly a domestic effort.

The biggest setback to the global fight against climate change will be if Trump actually withdraws the US from the Paris Agreement. Legally, he may find it easier to do this because the US promise to be a part of the agreement is based on an executive order by Obama. As the next president, Trump could withdraw that order…

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