OTTAWA—A well-known trade expert is pitching the counter-intuitive idea that widespread uncertainty tied to president-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist vows has likely created a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity for companies.
Export Development Canada’s Peter Hall says he’s been advising business leaders to consider swooping in on investment opportunities here and abroad while others sit idle from fear over the trade and tax changes being floated in the U.S.
Hall admits it’s risky, but argues that American trade policy will stay closer to the status quo than what has been discussed by Trump’s incoming administration.
He says Trump’s tax and tariff proposals may not survive because they would likely lead to immediate price increases for American consumers, while their broader economic benefits may take several years to kick in.
Hall says his recommendation has been well received by executives and boards of directors at some very prominent Canadian companies, though he acknowledges he’s unaware of any firms that have made big moves since the U.S. election.
He says the timing is also right because the world economy is strengthening on its own and notes that there’s pent-up demand in the U.S. and Western Europe.