About the only issue where controversial President Donald Trump can hope to gain bipartisan support is the regulatory environment. In common economic theory, fewer regulations bolster growth and activity because companies are not encumbered by bureaucratic procedures. The fact that the broader markets jumped to all-time records is evidence of Trump’s pro-business credentials.
But with his latest decision to repeal internet privacy protections, even the president’s sole bipartisan bargaining chip is at risk.
On Monday, Donald Trump signed a congressional resolution that officially overturns consumer protection proposals forwarded by the Federal Communications Commission. These measures, if they were to pass, would have required internet providers to ask permission before they could datamine their members’ online activities.
Naturally, the Trump administration has a different take towards the online privacy repeal. These well-meaning protections would put internet providers like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) at a disadvantage. That’s because internet companies, such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), are not affected either way by the FTC proposals. They could datamine their subjects to high heaven and not have to say a word.
According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, “The president pledged to reverse this type of federal overreach in which bureaucrats in Washington take the interest of one group of companies over the interest of others.” In other words, President Trump wants to avoid picking winners and losers.
Ironically, that’s exactly what he’s doing with the internet privacy repeal. Broadband companies are no doubt overjoyed. However, other sectors that were previously unaffected by the debate will now find themselves behind the eight-ball. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a consequence-free decision, especially one that is as far-reaching as the online privacy repeal.
Here are two winners, and two losers, amid the latest Trump controversy.