Directors Hopeful for Trump’s Tax Reform

September 14, 2017

Climate change policies? Not so much.

By Eve Tahmincioglu

Corporate directors are optimistic President Donald Trump’s promise to overhaul the nation’s tax system will come to fruition. But most aren’t happy with his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, reports a survey released this week.

A majority of directors believe tax reform will happen before Trump’s term has ended, with only 22% expecting reform before the year is out, according to The BDO Board Survey, conducted annually by the Corporate Governance Practice of BDO USA, that examines the opinions of 130 corporate directors of public company boards.

The survey, says Amy Rojik, BDO USA’s National Partner for Communications and Governance, “show corporate directors are eagerly awaiting the tax reform promised by President Trump, but they seem resigned to the fact that it may not happen in 2017.” 

As far as Trump’s climate change moves, directors aren’t as bullish.

In June, the president pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement, a landmark global coalition to curb emissions, but many corporations spoke out against the move.

(Related Article: Trump Tornado: Boards Cautiously Adapt to Changing Winds)

The BDO survey found that many directors at corporations weren’t happy either, with 54% saying they were against Trump’s decision.

“President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord put climate change and sustainability matters in the spotlight earlier this year. Regardless of where you stand on that decision, businesses are becoming increasingly focused on sustainability and how to incorporate it into their financial reporting,” says Christopher Tower, BDO USA’s National Managing Partner for Audit Quality and Professional Practice.

The survey also looked at financial reporting changes, whistleblower/compliance programs, activist investors, and board composition.

You can see the full report here.