The midterm elections are over, the attorney general has been removed, and we are settling in for two years in Washington that promise to be filled with intrigue and accusations.
But let's hope there will be a meaningful attempt by the executive branch to settle the trade issues that are plaguing the automotive industry around the world.
Trade matters will mostly be handled by the Commerce Department, so hopefully, the issue won't become entangled with whatever concerns the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives brings forward.
No doubt, the House will have a lot of trouble getting laws passed in a divided legislature.
So it will be interesting to see what that body has in mind for the automobile industry. It may oppose the federal rollback of fuel economy standards and try to do something about it.
Possibly the House will try to weigh in on autonomous vehicle regulations, but there will be lots of fights as to who is in charge.
Most matters probably will spend the next two years in gridlock — being fought over or simply ignored. Nothing much will get done.
But the executive branch and Commerce Department can, if they wish, get this very messy tariff business resolved. This month, Volvo was trying to sort out how it can build vehicles at its new plant in South Carolina and ship them to China without being hit with Chinese tariffs.
It is time to try to settle this issue so that the business of the automobile industry can proceed in some sort of orderly manner. The industry is complicated enough without adding politics to the mix.
If President Donald Trump wants allies in the second half of his term, then he should put the removal of tariffs at the top of his list.
Consumers and this industry deserve it.