TORONTO – Canadian enterprise leaders awaiting the outcomes of the U.S. election are re-examining their danger plans and making calls to advisers and political contacts Wednesday.

Whereas they received’t discover the much-awaited presidential leads to their plans or discussions, there can be some consolation in realizing they’ve ready for any final result and have well-connected contacts at their disposal, consultants say.

The routine is all a part of navigating a topsy-turvy election, the place Joe Biden and Donald Trump are each inside successful distance as ballots proceed to be counted.

Whereas Canadian firms received’t immediately find yourself beneath the management of both man, their companies typically bleed into the U.S. and may be impacted by regulatory modifications, tariffs, immigration practices and tax insurance policies throughout the border.

“There actually isn’t an trade that’s immune from what occurs south of the border. What goes on, goes proper to the highest in a short time,” mentioned Richard Leblanc, a professor of governance, legislation and ethics at York College, who typically advises firms on danger tolerance.

“Political and regulatory danger is now entrance and centre for a lot of boards. What you don’t wish to do is get caught flat-footed.”

The should susceptible industries to the election outcomes are these within the oil and fuel, uncooked supplies, agriculture and tech sectors that depend upon or have heightened ranges of interplay with the U.S., Leblanc mentioned.

Most firms, he added, research probably the most susceptible components of their enterprise year-round and pay shut consideration to what politics, trade circumstances and international modifications might trigger turmoil, however danger planning has taken on an entire new significance lately.

Discuss of a recession, shifting markets and COVID-19 have all made firms spend much more time on risk-planning and Leblanc has even seen some construct “Trump danger” into their preparations as a result of he has a proclivity for concentrating on and upending firms with no discover over Twitter.

“I’ve even seen public statements which are drafted forward of time to react, relying on what the president does. I had by no means seen a danger attributed to an individual earlier than, however I’ve seen that the final three or 4 years,” he mentioned.

Trump poses a menace to firms that depend on immigration as a result of he has gone after H1B visas and previously, torn up the North American Free Commerce Settlement and imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and metal.

“If the Democrats have been to win, what that claims to most companies is there’s somewhat bit extra predictability as a result of traditionally the Democrats have been extra more likely to be a part of bilateral commerce agreements and stay by the phrases of the commerce agreements,” mentioned Dennis Darby, chief government of the Canadian Producers and Exporters, which represents greater than 2,500 producers throughout the nation.

However a Biden win has dangers too.

Phil Skolnick from Eight Capital Analysis mentioned in a word to traders Wednesday {that a} Biden win might be a destructive for oil costs and producers due to local weather change mandates and the potential for sanctions on Iran to be lifted.

North American pipelines might additionally face hassle if the Democrats pack the Supreme Court docket, he mentioned.

No matter who wins, the nervousness of all of it has nearly change into the norm for enterprise leaders, mentioned Jim Balsillie, the previous BlackBerry Ltd. co-chief government and present chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators.

“A pair days of uncertainty for Canadian companies over presidential election outcomes pales compared to the uncertainty brought on by the USMCA’s ever-looming renewal provisions after which add on prime of that the COVID-19 pandemic, metal and softwood lumber tariffs, digital taxation points; and, overdue pipeline approvals,“ he wrote in an e-mail.

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“That is all par for the course in a much less co-operative, extra mercantilist international economic system that our companies now compete in.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 4, 2020.

Corporations on this story: (TSX:BB)





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