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Worldwide ERC® provides Second Non-Partisan Update of the 2020 U.S. National Conventions

Worldwide ERC® aims to keep members informed about major public policy issues affecting not just U.S. workforce mobility, but global workforce mobility. As a non-partisan association, this week we cover the Republican National Convention (RNC), following last week’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

2020 is likely to be one of the most unprecedented elections in U.S. history. On November 3rd not only will America face more mail-in votes than any election to date, voters will also face a choice between two extremely different presidential tickets. Further, the Congressional elections could mean shifting majorities, specifically in the Senate, and understand we may not even be in a position to know the winner of the election on 3 November.

As a non-partisan association, this week we cover the Republican National Convention (RNC), following our coverage of last week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC).

What is the National Convention process?

Both the DNC and RNC are four-day long events where each party showcases their public policy platform and leaders as they formally nominate their party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees.

While voters cast their ballots in primaries for who they wish to be their party’s nominee, that person is officially chosen through state and territory delegates. With total of 2,472 Republican delegates, a candidate needs at least 1,276 of the 2,472 delegates to become the Republican Party nominee. President Donald Trump is the incumbent and secured the nomination with 2,339 delegates. His ticket is joined by Vice President Mike Pence, and on 3 November it will be the American public and the Electoral College who will decide if they will again be America’s next President and Vice President or if our new leaders might be Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

RNC Day 1:

Like the DNC, the RNC was held virtually to maintain safety due to COVID-19. The first night’s theme was “Land of the Promise.” Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel highlighted Trump’s hard stance on China and illegal immigration as policies that would help protect American jobs. Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana boosted Trump’s leadership on the Coronavirus, while Senator Tim Scott praised Trump for economic gains during his first term. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley praised Trump’s foreign policy record, while Donald Trump Jr. praised his father’s work to uplift law enforcement and education.

RNC Day 2:

The theme of Day 2 was the “Land of Opportunity,” and featured more speakers praising Trump for his policies during his first term. For example, the White House’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow praised Trump’s handling of the economy the Coronavirus. We also heard from Trump’s children Eric and Tiffany, as well as First Lady Melania Trump, who spoke of civil unrest and violence. The evening also saw Trump performing a naturalization ceremony and issuing a full pardon from the White House.

RNC Day 3:

The third night featured Vice President Mike Pence formally accepting the nomination for Vice President under the theme of “Land of Heroes.” Pence spoke of the ideological divides of the country and emphasized the administration’s response to the Coronavirus and its handling of the economy in the aftermath. Like the DNC, the RNC featured many high-profile women to highlight issues of healthcare and education, such as First Lady Karen Pence and Lara Trump, wife of Trump’s son Eric. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst spoke about Trump’s support for farmers while praising his trade deals with Japan, Mexico and Canada.

RNC Day 4:

The final night of the RNC, under the theme “Land of Greatness,” took place on the south Lawn of the White House in front of a small seated crowd rather than using the virtual format from the previous 3 nights. Prominent Republican leaders vouching for Trump in speeches were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Trump’s daughter Ivanka also gave a speech before Trump himself formally accepted the Republican party’s nomination. He spoke positively of his first term, particularly on the economy and the administration’s COVID-19 response. He promised a future with "full employment, soaring incomes and record prosperity” while drawing stark differences between himself and Joe Biden before the evening concluded with a fireworks show.

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How This Impacts Mobility

Issues that are important to mobility, such as the economy, workforce immigration and tax policies were highlighted through the RNC, are mentioned in the Republican Party’s Platform and the work the administration has been doing on these issues are spotlighted on the President Trump’s Promises Kept website. For the economy, Trump has called for an aggressive reopening while also supporting employer COVID-19 liability protections if the employer took reasonable efforts to comply with mandatory standards and regulations. Trump also has a “hire American” approach to business immigration, reflected in this year’s proclamations banning the entry and issuance of new immigrant visas to foreign nationals outside the U.S., and the issuance of new nonimmigrant visas (e.g., L-1, H-1B, H-4) to foreign nationals outside the U.S. with narrow exceptions until the end of the year. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 decreased the corporate income tax rate to 21% but also suspended through 2025 the moving tax expense deduction and exclusion for the relocation of transferees. Whatever the outcome of the election, Worldwide ERC® will continue to monitor and advocate on these important public policy issues that affect workforce mobility.

The DNC and RNC are reminders of the importance to get out and vote. These steps and resources can make participating in the democratic process of voting easier while working or living outside of the U.S. For those who've recently moved domestically, registering to vote in your new location can ensure that your voice is heard. For those who are U.S. citizens, here is where you can register to vote if you are voting stateside.

For more information on the conventions and the election, please reach out to our Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy, Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

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