CONTRACTING IN THE ERA OF TRUMP BRINGS BENEFITS & CONCERNS TO CONTRACTORS
The good news for contractors trying to make a living under the Trump Administration is that defense and homeland security spending are poised to increase. That can create opportunities for companies selling both solutions and products. The challenges are that the Administration has made clear its intent to deep-six programs and contracts that it believes don’t work, or merely duplicate existing functions. There is also a continued element of uncertainty in the market as there is a scarcity of senior political appointees who typically carry out the Administration’s policies. It is critically important that contractors understand how this Administration is changing the ways agencies function. Your favorite contract method or foreign aid program could be cancelled. That civilian agency support contract you’ve had for years could be in jeopardy. Worse, there may be few people you can speak to in the agency that can tell you what’s going on. Successful companies are those that have the capability to see the forest for the trees. A straight tactical approach to federal business may not work well in this environment. Step back. Read industry trade publications. Attend conferences. Assume change and be prepared ahead of time. The FY’18 market will have opportunities, but the “where” and “how” will be different.