Tag Archives: 2020 US Elections

Lawmakers who objected to election results have been cut off from 20 of their 30 biggest corporate PAC donors

WASHINGTON — The 147 Republican lawmakers who opposed certification of the presidential election this month have lost the support of many of their largest corporate backers – but not all of them.

The Washington Post contacted the 30 companies that gave the most money to election-objecting lawmakers’ campaigns through political action committees. Two-thirds, or 20 of the firms, said they have pledged to suspend some or all payments from their PACs.

Meanwhile, nine companies said only that they would review their political giving or did not commit to take any action as a result of this month’s events. One other top donor did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The split between company responses shows how U.S. executives are still grappling with the recent political bloodshed and its ripple effects across the corporate landscape. The attempted insurrection at the Capitol led to calls for companies and wealthy donors to disavow support for lawmakers who continue to propagate dangerous myths about the election and has prompted a broader rethinking of the role of PAC giving among the nation’s top companies.

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Biden Picks Gina M. Raimondo for Commerce Secretary – The New York Times

The incoming administration will select Gina M. Raimondo, a moderate Democrat, to guide a sprawling department critical to business and technology.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to announce Gina M. Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, as his commerce secretary, a key economic position given the agency’s critical role in everything from technology policy to climate change to promoting American industry, according to a person familiar with the decision.

Ms. Raimondo, a moderate Democrat with a background in the financial industry, has served as governor since 2015. She is seen as a relatively traditional choice for commerce secretary, a post that oversees relations with the business community but also technology regulation, weather monitoring and the gathering of economic data, among other duties.

Mr. Biden had been considering several high-profile chief executives for the position, as well as the possibility of appointing a Republican. In choosing Ms. Raimondo, the Biden team instead opted for a rising star in the Democratic Party with experience in both government and finance.

As governor of Rhode Island, Ms. Raimondo introduced training programs, cut taxes and eliminated regulations to support businesses. She clashed with unions but ultimately found compromise as she overhauled the state pension plan.

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Business Leaders Call on Congress to Accept the Electoral College Results

This presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the Electoral College and the courts have rejected challenges to the electoral process. Congress should certify the electoral vote on Wednesday, January 6. Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy.

The incoming Biden administration faces the urgent tasks of defeating COVID-19 and restoring the livelihoods of millions of Americans who have lost jobs and businesses during the pandemic. Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment when we are dealing with the worst health and economic crises in modern history. There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.


William D. Abramson, Director of Brokerage, Buchbinder & Warren Realty Group LLC

Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital

Ellen Alemany, Chairman & CEO, CIT Group Inc.

Simon Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McGraw-Hill Education, Inc.

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DNBs New York-kontor: Ser store muligheter med Biden som president

NEW YORK (E24): Leder av New York-kontoret til DNB, Mats Wermelin, mener USAs nye president Joe Biden vil være bra for norsk industri.

BØRS OG FINANS – Det har vært en utrolig merkelig tid. Jo nærmere valget vi har kommet har det blitt tydeligere at landet og den nåværende presidenten har mer egeninteresse og har satt USA først, sier han, og trekker frem at han mener Biden minsker den geopolitiske risikoen.

– Jeg ser store muligheter fremover med Biden. Både for norsk industri og norske kunder. Vi ser at USA kommer tilbake til verdenspolitikken, sier han og viser E24 inn i det kjente MetLife bygget hvor DNB holder til med sine 122 ansatte.

Selv om MetLife-bygget er et av verdens største kontorbygninger og den 14. høyeste skyskraperen på Manhattan, er det nærmest tomt for mennesker i 31. etasje hvor DNB holder til.

Wermelin forteller at de fleste ansatte har hatt hjemmekontor siden starten av pandemien.

New York var i våres episenteret for corona i verden. Dødstallene var dramatiske. Sykehus og begravelsesbyråer hadde sprengt kapasitet.

Corona-tallene er nok en gang på vei opp, ikke bare i New York, men også i store deler av USA. Over 300.000 amerikanere har mistet livet, og flere millioner mennesker har mistet jobbene sine.

Fortsatt viktig med New York-kontoret

Butikker, restauranter og barer har vært nødt til å stenge. Flere eksperter har spekulert i om New York vil kunne komme til å overleve en bølge nummer to.

– Vi har nok jobbet mer i år enn tidligere i år. Selv om måten vi jobber på er annerledes. Vi kommuniserer med kundene våre digitalt, men de ansatte og kundene har tilpasset seg, samtidig som det er klart at det har vært utfordrende for oss alle, sier Wermelin.

Olje blir mindre viktig

– Det har vært vanskeligere for norske bedrifter i startfasen å få til noe – med tanke på den økonomiske situasjonen landet befinner seg i, sier han og legger til:

– Men for allerede etablerte selskaper har det ikke vært noen store endringer – foruten de industriene som har vært rammet av pandemien. De har hatt det tøft.

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November 4th at Villa Otium: 220-213 Electoral Votes and Counting!

November 4th at Villa Otium: 220-213 Electoral Votes and Counting!

Together with US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Richard H. Riley, AmCham’s Jason Turflinger welcomed Patron-level member representatives for an exclusive, socially-distanced breakfast on November 4th at the US Embassy’s Villa Otium residence in Oslo.

After a long night, hopes of dissecting concrete election outcomes were off the table, with a record number of mail-in ballots leading to a delay in tallying. Guests gathered instead to watch results trickle in, while assessing various election outcome scenarios.

Gambit Hill & Knowlton’s Director of Public Affairs, Peter Skovholt Gitmark, and Doctoral Fellow at Kristiana University College Ketil Raknes started the group discussion. They touched upon the record-setting turnout of the election and outlined key differences in electoral processes between the US and Norway. 

Soliciting input from guests such as NHO’s Tore Myre, Citi’s Pål Røkke, and the Ministry of Trade’s Jan Farberg, the discussion turned to Norwegian-American trade, election impacts on financial markets, and coming diplomatic processes.

Though guests left Villa Otium with no clear answer as to the winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election, they did leave with an enhanced understanding of how potential outcomes would impact transatlantic relations going forward.


Photo: Høyskolen Kristiania

Chargé d’Affaires Richard H. Riley

US Embassy 

Peter Skovholt Gitmark

Director of Public Affairs

Gambit Hill & Knowlton

Ketil Raknes

Doctoral Fellow

Kristiania University College

About the US Election Series

AmCham Norway, in collaboration with our fellow Nordic AmChams and the US Embassy in Norway, proudly hosts our ongoing 2020 US Election Series. Featuring experts and commentators from diverse organizations such as C-SPAN, Fox News, Pew Research Center, TV 2, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the fact-based series enables business and government leaders to more accurately assess a political process that impacts us all.

Uncertainty is the Only Certainty: US Election Update and Impacts

Uncertainty Is the Only Certainty: US Election Prognosis and Impacts

Hosted in full accordance with the latest COVID-19 regulations at Radisson Blu Scandinavia, AmCham member leaders gathered for US Election Updates and Impacts – the latest edition in AmCham’s ongoing US Election series.


Featuring former US Ambassador Barry B. White, Kelly Ann Shaw, Eirik Bergesen, Hilde Restad, and Knut Magnussen, issues addressed ranged from Presidential, Senate and House elections to trade, foreign, and defense policy positions under a Biden or Trump II administration. To cap it off, participants engaged panelists in a highly interactive Q&A session, leading to robust exchanges on multilateralism, media coverage of the elections, the role of science in the public space, and US trade and tariff policy going forward.


Ambassador Barry B. White

Kelly Ann Shaw

Eirik Bergesen

Hilde Restad

Knut Magnussen

Ambassador White Returns to Norway

The session opened with Barry B. White, who joined virtually from Boston. White gave an impassioned rundown of the US election, noting that the Democrats hope to take states such as Florida, Iowa, and Ohio (among others), and perhaps could even put Republican stronghold states such as Georgia and Texas in play. Striking a note of caution, however, Ambassador White also reminded participants it was critical for Democrats to retain swing-states such as New Hampshire, Nevada, and Minnesota.


The ambassador then put his pundit hat on to break down the business cases for both Trump and Biden. Arguments for Trump rest upon tax reductions and deregulation, whereas perceived Biden policies offer businesses increased predictability, flow of labor and a refined trade posture. White also highlighted competitive Senate contests in Colorado, Arizona, Maine, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, and Georgia.


Quoting American poet Maya Angelou, Ambassador White noted that “people will forget what you have said and what you have done, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” The election, therefore, may very well be decided by how Trump has made the American people feel on issues such as healthcare, the economy, jobs, and race.

Trade in a Time of Rising Economic Nationalism

Hogan Lovells Partner and former White House Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Kelly Ann Shaw joined from the nation’s capital to discuss the evolution of trade policy in a Biden or Trump II administration. Shaw, who also played a critical role in the China Phase I and USMCA negotiations and served as the lead negotiator for the US for the G-20, G-7, and APEC, noted that a sudden change in US trade policy in the event of a Biden presidency is unlikely.


“Trade is just as much controlled by Congress as the President – and the outcome of the Senate and House races will therefore be just as influential as the presidential elections,” she added.


Tariffs, she said, would be difficult to unwind for either potential administration, noting the “genie is out of the bottle” when it comes to the use of tariffs and active enforcement to achieve a variety of economic, security, and political objectives. There is bipartisan support in Congress for tougher stances on trade and multilateral trade organizations such as the WTO, and negotiations with China.


On the area of trade negotiations, however, Shaw foresees key differences between Trump and Biden administrations. She noted that Biden will not engage in any trade negotiations in his first year in office, putting economic agreement negotiations with the UK, Kenya, and possibly the EU on hold. Trump, in contrast, would continue such negotiations.


The focus for either candidate, however, both among the electorate and on the Hill, is squarely on domestic issues, not foreign policy and global trade, a trend further entrenched by COVID-19.


“COVID-19 can lead to more economic nationalism. Until we get our respective houses in order, there will be less emphasis on what we can do together, meaning that the differences will be on the margins.”


It was a sentiment she added to during the Q&A session, where she examined the logic behind US participation in various multilateral trade organizations.


“In many ways, the US is between a rock and a hard place. It is often thought that we can either stay in institutions stuck in last century’s ways of thinking or give China global leadership – these are not good alternatives; a third way forward has not yet emerged. In this regard, where the US remains committed does not get enough airplay.”

Commentary from Norwegian US Experts

In-person panelist and Bjørknes University College Associate Professor Hilde Restad, put White’s and Shaw’s comments in the broader historical context, noting that it was conservatives promoting free trade who were the first opponents of the President’s unique personal brand of economic nationalism. Trump’s actions, Restad added, would take time to recover from.

“While the US can revert to working to achieve consensus internationally, the idea that the US will simply snap back as if nothing happened is not workable.”

Fellow panelist Eirik Bergesen, host of TV 2’s Trumps verden, drew upon his experience as a Norwegian diplomat when adding that the idea of putting a country first is not necessarily radical in and of itself, it is rather Trump’s zero-sum negotiating style, the conflation of America First with Trump First that creates challenges.

Calling upon his extensive economic background, DNB Senior Economist Knut Magnussen, like Shaw, focused on the economic and trade policy ramifications of either potential administration.

“Whether it’s termed ‘America First’ or ‘Buy American,’ trade policy won’t significantly change either way. We can’t hope for tariff reductions or agreements.”

A change in NATO and defense spending is unlikely, regardless of changes within the US administration, Magnussen noted,   citing that Norway’s secure economic situation vis-à-vis COVID, and the continued decline of Oslo’s relationship with Moscow, will likely translate to Norway continuing to spend at or above the two percent GDP target. 

Q&A Session and Conclusion

At the conclusion of the panel, audience members engaged presenters on a diverse range of topics, including the Trump administration’s recent surprise imposition of steep aluminum tariffs and the importance of multilateralism.


During the Q&A session, Shaw and White both noted the extensive professionalism of the Norwegian MFA, with Shaw adding that “if any country can navigate a relationship with the US in the years to come, it’s Norway.”


Shaw added that regardless of who wins the election, volatility and uncertainty will be tough to avoid. “Uncertainty is our future – and what is certain is that it will be uncertain.”


“I truly believe that 65-70% of Americans agree on most issues. However, it’s getting through the political noise that’s challenging, given that the partisan divide can seem so great,” concluded Ambassador White in an uplifting, unifying tone.

Ap's Jette Christensen and Hydro's Egil Hogna ask questions durring the Q&A session.

Mapping the US Political Landscape Ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election with Pew Research Center’s Brad Jones

Mapping the US Political Landscape Ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election

AmCham Norway, in partnership with AmChams across the Nordics, hosted a highly engaging, data-driven session on the US presidential election with Pew Research Center’s Brad Jones.

With under 70 days left until Americans choose their next administration, the US is facing a menagerie of political, economic, and health issues – all culminating in a highly polarized political climate around what many commentators are calling the most important election in more than 50 years.

Jones, a research associate at the Center with a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s top-ranked political science program, guided attendees through Pew Research Center’s extensive research on American political opinion. The insightful data shed light upon the evolution of American politics across a wide range of demographic groups, breaking down how public opinion is shifting around key issues in the runup to the election.

Jones concluded the session by answering attendee questions, highlighting the deep political complexity of the election, the influence of social turmoil in the US on polling, and the intricacies of polling and quantitative analysis in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

Unable to attend the session? A full video recording is available to the right.

About the AmCham Nordics US Election Series


About the US Election Series

With the 2020 US elections only weeks away, AmCham Norway, in collaboration with our fellow Nordic AmChams and the US Embassy in Norway, continues our 2020 US Election Series. Featuring experts and commentators from diverse organizations such as Fox News, TV 2, Pew Research Center, C-SPAN, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the fact-based series is developed to enlighten and engage business and government leaders on a political process that impacts us all.

Other US Election Series Events

Countdown to the November US Elections with Fox’s Jon Decker & TV 2 Norway’s Eirik Bergesen

Countdown to the November US Elections with Fox’s Jon Decker & TV 2 Norway’s Eirik Bergesen

In collaboration with fellow Nordic AmChams, AmCham Norway hosted an exclusive session on the 2020 US Elections with Fox News Radio White House Correspondent Jon Decker and Eirik Bergesen, a political commentator, US expert, and former diplomat currently co-hosting Trumps verden on TV2.

Decker broke down the election state-by-state, bringing together the latest electoral trends with his decades of experience covering American presidential politics. While an escalating unemployment rate, massive protest movements around racial discrimination, and a global pandemic present critical challenges to Trump’s re-election chances, Decker noted that Trump’s core voter base remains unwavering in its support of the President.

Decker argued that three states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan – will likely play the deciding role in the 2020 election. Wisconsin, in particular, stand out as especially critical, and Decker estimates that whoever wins the state of Wisconsin will be the strongest candidate to win the White House come November. Biden’s pick for vice president, Decker added, could be instrumental in securing these key battleground states. He then went on to underline the importance of analyzing the election holistically, eschewing national polls for state-by-state and district-by-district analysis. US presidential elections, as Decker reminded participants, are not decided by the popular vote but rather the Electoral College, something political commentators around the world were starkly reminded of in 2016. Decker concluded by underscoring the difficulty political pundits and analysts alike will have in predicting the outcome, noting “this race for the White House will be exceedingly close.”

Following his presentation, Decker engaged in an interactive discussion with event participants moderated by Bergesen. Bergesen began by reflecting upon the extensive amount of time he has spent in the United States, concluding that he, like many others, did not predict Trump’s victory in 2016. He then noted the genuine interest for US politics in the Nordics, highlighting how many wonder how Trump’s poll numbers remain so consistent, despite a near constant stream of complex political developments. Bergesen and Decker concluded by fielding questions ranging from the impact of evangelical Christians on the electoral cycle to Biden’s choices for vice president.