Donald Trump’s historic victory leaves observers wrestling with the question of what will be the character of his administration, when the candidate himself has taken so many positions, some of which match standard conservative views and others that seemingly came out of left field.
The speculation at the moment is that his administration will mirror standard Republican attitudes toward business, with a restrained view toward regulation. Trump himself, except for lending his name to a brief foray into the dietary supplement business with his Trump Network multi-level marketing organization, has in the past had little connection to the supplements industry.
Overall, results from our reader survey (polls are now closed!) are generally positive with 49% predicting a positive impact on the supplements industry, 19% predicting a negative impact, and the rest saying no impact or they don’t know.
China vs Made in USA
Responses were more mixed on the potential impact on imports of raw materials and other ingredients, with 38% of respondents predicting a negative effect, and 35% predicting a positive effect.
“The biggest concern is trade and how our relationship with China, where so many vitamins are manufactured, will be impacted,” wrote one respondent.
Dietary Supplement Caucus
There are over 40 members of the bipartisan Dietary Supplement Caucus. Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, said the industry needs continued effort and continued vigilance to build up the caucus as the first line of support.
“But I think it’s very difficult to think that we would see an increase in the budget for the Office of Dietary Supplements. That’s another reason for the industry to seriously engage in self-regulatory models that can help protect consumers,” said McGuffin.
On the flip side, another respondent wrote: “Trump is a business oriented leader. Made in USA will be important for re-launching the economy and reduce the trade deficit. For those companies that have invested in the US creativity and ingenuity. it will be a new positive opportunity.”
And you have to take into account a Republican House and Senate, which will have a positive impact on the industry, according to 38% of respondents (versus 22% predicting a negative impact).
Survey respondents also expected a lighter touch from regulatory enforcement. 43% said a Trump presidency would mean less enforcement of DSHEA by the FDA, with only 16% predicting more enforcement.
One respondent stated that they expect a Trump presidency to be a “disaster” for supplement. “All of the progress we have made to clean up the industry and increase regulations and pressure on suppliers will go out the window and the market is going to be flooded with adulterated and low quality material.”
However, another respondent said the industry must keep up its self-regulatory initiatives. “Overall I think this will lend itself to more self-governance and less resources for FDA enforcement. I believe this will allow the industry to continue its rapid growth - however it will be equally important for industry to police those trying to undercut the rules (because there will be less resources available to FDA).”
Check out our full survey results below: