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Trump likely to fail on almost every campaign pledge in 2017, say global CFOs

  • Chief financial officers (CFOs) from some of the world's largest firms said they had become increasingly pessimistic that the former New York businessman would be able to pass several of his – and the Republican Party's – key agenda items into law by the end of 2017.
  • Global CFOs, across a wide range of industries, were asked to describe how confident they were the Trump administration would be able to deliver on six key legislative priorities.
  • These areas were Obamacare reform, building a wall across the Mexican border, infrastructure, personal tax reform, corporate tax reform and repatriation.

President Donald Trump is on course to ring in the new year without having passed almost any of his campaign promises into law, according to a new survey conducted by CNBC.

Chief financial officers (CFOs) from some of the world's largest firms said they had become increasingly pessimistic that the former New York businessman would be able to pass several of his – and the Republican Party's – key agenda items into law by the end of 2017.

Global CFOs across a wide range of industries were asked to describe how confident they were the Trump administration would be able to deliver on six key legislative priorities. The results showed that CFOs believed it was unlikely any of the agenda items would be reformed by the Republican-controlled Congress this calendar year.

The six legislative areas were Obamacare reform, building a wall across the Mexican border, infrastructure, personal tax reform, corporate tax reform and repatriation.

A legislative 'mess'

On each issue, respondents to the survey said they were more doubtful than confident that reforms could be passed this year.

On average, CFOs are less than 21 percent confident the Trump administration would be able to pass reforms to overhaul health-care in 2017. When asked this question three months earlier, the average confidence level was 41 percent.

Responses to the CNBC Global CFO Survey are anonymous. All 35 CFOs who completed the survey responded to this question.

The U.S. Senate failed to pass various forms of health-care this summer, prompting Trump to blame Republican leaders for a legislative "mess."

However, aside from the health-care debacle, the White House currently appears to be prioritizing tax reform. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described this as the Trump administration's number one priority.

Speaking at CNBC's "Delivering Alpha" event on Tuesday, Mnuchin reiterated his confidence about getting a tax reform bill to the president's desk in 2017. "We're going to get this done by the end of the year," he said, adding the White House is "super focused" on this issue.

Global CFOs were less optimistic.

"What we have seen in the previous surveys of the Global CFO Council is that businesses were somewhat skeptical about the abilities of Donald Trump to move the reform agenda forward... What we see right now is that they are becoming even more skeptical," Evgeny Fetisov, chief financial officer at Luxoft, told CNBC on Friday.

"Initially people were not too optimistic about 2017, but it looks like we will see less action going forward in 2018 as well," he added.

Respondents of the CNBC Global CFO Survey said they were doubtful either personal or corporate tax reform would be passed into law in 2017. On average, their confidence in tax reform is less than 40 percent for either measure.

How much credit does Trump deserve for the economy?

The CNBC Global CFO Survey also asked respondents how much credit Trump deserved for various economic achievements since taking office in January.

Global CFOs said they were most likely to give Trump credit for the stock market's record run, while more than half said he deserved "none of the credit" for the declining employment rate.

The S&P 500 has surged more than 16.6 percent since Trump sealed election victory on November 9, while the Nasdaq is up around 11.4 percent over the same period.

Here are the full results of this quarter's survey:

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