Investors worry about protectionism and taxes with POTUS candidates

A Reuters article today quoted a range of investment officials who expressed concern over the protectionist and pro-tax rhetoric of many of the Presidential candidates in the primary races.

While it’s early in the game to try to figure out who will be the likely candidates in the general election, investors noted that most of the candidates so far have been bashing trade and promoting taxes, and that is worrisome for the economy:

“The single-most important issue that threatens the market is protectionism. The market can shrug off taxes because those are just adjustments … essentially it’s a one-time thing and you move on,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank in Chicago.

“But the on-going implications of protectionism are really far-changing and change the course of our economy and have just enormous implications for the market,” Ablin said.

While there is little or no evidence that trade has been responsible for the loss of middle-class jobs, that hasn’t stopped many of the leading candidates from making that charge. See some earlier posts here and here debunking that assertion.