The travel, energy, manufacturing and consumer product industries are pressing the Trump administration and Congress to take decisive action to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus and plunging oil prices. Business lobbies are pushing a range of proposals such as extending unemployment insurance, broadening business entertainment tax breaks and offering tax credits to employers of quarantined workers, according to representatives interviewed by Bloomberg News. Many of the ideas are in a preliminary state as President Donald Trump’s advisers weigh their options.
“Right now we’re in the spaghetti-on-the-wall phase of this conversation,” said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, the industry’s largest trade association. Investors and the public are looking to the Trump administration for a more decisive response to the virus outbreak and to a sharp drop in oil prices touched off by a breakdown in talks between Russia and Saudi Arabia aimed at cutting output. U.S. stocks plunged more than 7.5% on Monday in the worst day on Wall Street since the financial crisis, crude sank 20% and credit markets showed signs of intense strain.