As we begin to see the transition to a Biden administration take shape, the real policy impact may not be seen for a while. The administration will be coming into office with the optimism that we can emerge from the throes of the pandemic and will strengthen an economic recovery that has been uneven to this point. There are still, however, some areas of policy worth watching that might have an impact on the profession.
Of immediate interest will be the administration’s position on the environment. Stopping short of endorsing a “Green New Deal,” President-elect Biden can still be expected to place greater emphasis on holding companies accountable for their policies around ESG and sustainability. With the possibility of the United States re-joining Paris Climate Agreement, investors and banks can expect increased scrutiny and expectations to transition to a lower-carbon economy. This will align with activities of other governments and present new opportunities for professionals in the built environment to take a lead.
Despite record stock market performance, it is expected that another significant stimulus package will be required to support the economic recovery.
While we’ve heard about the prospects of infrastructure spending before, there is some potential for bi-partisan support for inclusion of infrastructure dollars in a new stimulus bill.
That being said, substantive legislation on anything is difficult to predict. Senate run-off races in Georgia in January will determine if there is a split Congress and whether we can expect further gridlock within the Beltway. Add to that the uncertainty of future trade policy with China and more questions follow. After a year defined by its unpredictability, the Biden administration will seek to restore some normalcy and trust in institutions both at home and abroad. The world will be watching.
Michael Zuriff oversees RICS government affairs in Washington, DC. He can be reached at email@example.com.