TD Bank CEO Masrani fears trade tensions could bring on recession (BNN)

Melanie ConsMortgage Talk Canada

As the possibility of a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China looms, Toronto-Dominion Bank’s chief executive says he’s concerned that global trade tensions could boil over and even lead some nations into recession.

In an exclusive interview, Bharat Masrani told BNN’s Amanda Lang that anything that disturbs global trade is worrisome.

“Trade skirmishes have been there since freer trade started. Hopefully this is something in that realm, and not something substantial that results in protectionism and a trade war that could trigger a slowdown and perhaps even recessions in certain countries,” Masrani said.

Masrani’s comments come after China announced Sunday it was raising tariffs on 128 U.S. products in an escalating spat between the world’s two biggest economies.

Masrani warned that TD’s growth outlook could be hit by a risks to the U.S. economy such as the failure to reach a new NAFTA deal or increasing U.S. debt.

“We are seeing major potential deficits in the U.S. at this point in the cycle. If it turns out we get into a slowdown, what’s the implication there? [If NAFTA] it turns out very badly, what are the implications there?”  Masrani said.

“There are a lot of risks out there that we call headwinds that can turn out to be real, and if so, you will see implications at TD from a growth perspective.”

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