Like him or loathe him, Trump will boost the US cement industry

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In June 2016, the polls said that the UK would remain in the European Union (EU), but now we have the prospect of Brexit. Democrat supporters in the US now know how the UK's 'Remainers' feel. The unthinkable has happened: the so-called 'Deplorables' have taken over the asylum. Donald Trump has won the US presidential election and he will be the 45th US president, after confounding all the polls, the media, the analysts and the commentators. He'll be able to appoint a swathe of right-leaning office-holders, including a crucial replacement for the late Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. This will change the direction of US law-making for years, possibly decades, towards a less-liberal and more conservative outlook.

Trump will also be aided by having Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and will actually be able to get things done. President Obama had to fight hard for eight years to achieve anything, and finally had to fall back on enacting laws by presidential dictat or 'Executive Orders.' 'The Donald' will not have to stoop so low, and once he takes office will effectively be 'sweeping with the wind.'

Trump looks set to change US policy in a number of areas, including being less conciliatory towards America's foes ("I'm going to bomb the s••t out of ISIS"), taxing imports and tearing up trade agreements and rolling back US environmental efforts (he has promised to abolish the US Environmental Protection Agency, to cancel the Paris climate change deal, to sanction more drilling for oil and to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline the fourth phase of which was recently rejected by President Obama). Who knows what else he has planned?

Well, one thing that we do know is that Trump's election is very probably great news for the US cement industry.

Early on in his victory speech, moments after receiving a telephone call from Hillary Clinton conceding defeat, Trump laid out the first step of his plan to 'Make America Great Again:' building US infrastructure. Trump said: "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it." He didn't actually mention cement (nor did he mention a 'big beautiful wall'), but all of these projects will require plenty of cement and concrete. Whether they voted for him or not (and Trump noted that there are those 'who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people'), workers in the cement industry will be celebrating the prospect of fuller order sheets, higher prices, better profitability and more overtime. From a current GDP growth rate of around 1%, some have suggested a surge past 3%/yr and beyond during a Trump presidency. The crucial question, often overlooked, is "How are we going to pay for all this investment?" With the US debt heading towards US$20Tn, perhaps Trump's history as a Democrat - and all the tax-raising territory that comes with that position - might come in handy after all.

Trump has indicated that he's already looking to a second term ("I look very much forward to being your president, and hopefully at the end of two years or three years or four years, or maybe even eight years...") based on what he might achieve in his first term. Well, let's see. Donald Trump's deeds now need to speak louder than Donald Trump's words.

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