2017 Insights: Regulatory

Skadden's 2017 Insights

With promises of reform or deregulation, President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are likely to implement changes across the regulatory landscape.

Financial Regulation

The Trump Impact: Key Issues in Financial Services Reform for 2017
Republican control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government likely will lead to financial services deregulation, which would most benefit community and regional banks and create opportunities down the line for bank M&A.

Future of Sanctions on Iran, Russia and Cuba Uncertain Under Trump
President Donald Trump has been critical of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, Russia and Cuba, raising the prospect of sanctions-related policy changes. Regardless, we expect continued vigorous enforcement of sanctions violations by federal and state regulators.

Blockchains Offer Revolutionary Potential in Fintech and Beyond
Blockchains have been heralded as a transformative technology with the potential to fundamentally change the financial system and any data-heavy industry, but the technology's implementation will depend, in part, on what regulations are introduced for its use.

The Uncertain Future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The CFPB continues to aggressively enforce federal consumer protection laws, but a recent appeals court ruling on the constitutionality of the CFPB's single-director structure and Donald Trump's election threaten to disrupt the regulator's operations.

Reform, Not Repeal, Likely for US Swaps Regulations
Potential repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act is expected to lead to important reforms, not wholesale repeal, of CFTC swaps regulations governing areas such as reporting, trading, clearing and cross-border.

Change in Administration Presents Opportunity to Revisit DOL Fiduciary Rule
Unintended consequences on the broker-dealer industry, combined with promises from the White House and Congress to significantly deregulate the financial sector, open the door for the DOL’s new regulations to be reconsidered before they become applicable.

Other Regulatory Developments

Antitrust Enforcement in the Trump Administration
Despite campaign trail comments suggesting an aggressive antitrust approach, President Donald Trump's appointment of Joshua Wright to lead his transition team suggests a tempering in the level of activity that characterized the Obama administration.

Big Data an Ongoing Concern for EU Competition Law
The EU continues to grapple with the issue of how "big data" should be treated in merger control and antitrust enforcement, including the issue of whether access to and use of big data confers market power in relation to a particular goods or services market.

CFIUS and Foreign Investment Reviews in 2017 and Beyond
The new administration is expected to take a multipronged approach to foreign investment. While most foreign acquisitions and investors will be welcomed, those presenting potential national security issues can expect more searching CFIUS reviews.

Despite Aversion to Regulation, Trump May Expand Cybersecurity Efforts
Despite President Donald Trump’s expressed antipathy toward regulation, he has indicated an interest in strengthening the country's cybersecurity efforts. It appears unlikely that his administration will try to dramatically weaken U.S. laws in this area.

FERC Could See Substantial Changes Under President Trump
Because of economic and regulatory realities, FERC’s influence under the Trump administration may have the greatest impact on the rules governing the organized markets for electricity. That said, policy direction will come more from a new chairman than the White House.

Legislative, Regulatory and Judicial Challenges to the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards
The filibuster may ultimately prevent substantial amendments to existing environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act, leaving the courts to decide the fate of recently enacted environmental regulations.

Republicans Chart New Course for US Health Care System
Replacement of the ACA is a top priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. To what degree Democrats and interest groups can successfully oppose them remains to be seen; however, changes are likely to impact drug pricing and innovation and Medicaid.

Significant Changes Likely for US Trade Policy and Enforcement
The Trump administration has promised potentially seismic shifts in U.S. trade policy, with the likelihood of more aggressive enforcement of U.S. trade laws and negotiation and renegotiation of important U.S. trade agreements, among other changes.

Trump Expected to Alter Labor Laws, Policies
The Trump administration is likely to substantially shift federal labor and employment laws, regulations and enforcement priorities set by President Barack Obama, which in turn may prompt more legislative action at state and municipal levels in some parts of the country.

Business Tax Reform All but Certain in US, Europe
Tax reform in the U.S. seems highly likely following the November election. In Europe, nations continue to increase regulatory oversight of cross-border transactions and push for transparency against the backdrop of Brexit.

Income, Wealth Transfer Tax Changes Likely Under New Administration
President Donald Trump and the House GOP have indicated support for significant changes to the estate tax as part of comprehensive federal tax reform. High-net-worth individuals should consider the estate planning consequences of any such changes.

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