Washington Policymakers Turn to 2020

Lawmakers return to Washington with a possible presidential impeachment trial in the Senate on their minds. But as that process plays out, policymakers are discussing other issues that are important to commercial real estate.

Just before Christmas, officials at the Treasury Department released the final round of regulations governing opportunity zones, the economic development tool designed to spur job creation and economic development in distressed or developing communities. Opportunity zones were created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that NAIOP supported.

The final rules address questions such as:

  • What types of gains may be invested and when?
  • When may gains be excluded from tax after an investment is held for a 10-year period?
  • How can large C Corporations invest in opportunity zones?

Overall, Politico reports that Treasury officials consider the final opportunity zone regulations to be taxpayer-friendly.

On the trade front, White House adviser Peter Navarro says the Senate could pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement this week. “We’re gonna get that passed as early as Friday or Monday [Jan. 13],” he told Fox Business. NAIOP lobbied in favor of USMCA, which passed the House in December.

Also, trade officials from China are scheduled to arrive in Washington next week to sign a “phase one” trade agreement with the United States. President Donald Trump announced last week that the deal would be inked on Jan. 15.

Vice Premier Liu He is expected to be in charge of the Chinese delegation. Trump added he plans to visit Beijing to begin “Phase Two” discussions.