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Trump's economic policies may have distinct implications for North Carolina

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke in the Greensboro Coliseum on Tuesday, June 14th.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke in the Greensboro Coliseum on Tuesday, June 14th.

Michael Walden, distinguished professor of agriculture and resource economics at N.C. State University, said Trump has proposed a large tax cut, regulation reductions and a major infrastructure program.

“He’s also proposed further energy exploration, so all those things will affect North Carolina just like (they) will the nation,” he said.

But there might be special potential for an increase in offshore energy exploration in the state, Walden said.

“North Carolina has the largest known deposits of oil off of its coast. So if that were accessed, I estimate that could be converted to energy,” he said. “And on a long term basis, that could generate maybe 17,000 jobs and $2 million of income.”

North Carolina is home to many of the nation’s military divisions, said Scott Dorney, executive director of the North Carolina Military Business Center.

“In North Carolina, we have six major military installations, with 10 percent of the Army at Fort Bragg, and the largest marine base in the eastern half of the United States and a lot of other military presence,” Dorney said.

He said the state’s military presence provides business and economics opportunities.

The military supports 578,000 jobs in the state, almost $34 billion in state personal income and $66 billion in state gross product, according to the 2015 report on the economic impact of the military on North Carolina released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission.

Dorney said he appreciates the federal and state governments’ perspectives on military.

“They understand the value of the military in our state from a business perspective, and they get the opportunity to grow the military economy and to continue to keep it strong,” he said.

Patrick Conway, chairperson of the UNC economics department, said the growing population of North Carolina is also an economic factor.

“We are a state that is steadily increasing its population relative to the rest of the United States — maybe not the fastest growing, but one of the fastest growing states in the country in terms of population,” he said.

“More people tend to make more economic opportunities, more jobs and more sales opportunities,” Walden said. “With growth comes some benefits as well as challenges.”

Questions remain as to whether Trump can implement all his policies, Conway said.

“The president-elect has promised a large number of things on the election trail, and also since he was elected, and I’m not sure to what extent he is going to be able to deliver on those.”

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