As U.S. President Donald Trump wraps up his third week in office, his proposed policies continue to be scrutinized. From his executive order to review Dodd-Frank, to proposed border taxes, and promised corporate tax cuts, a number of CEOs have weighed in.

Here’s what 10 bosses have told BNN, just days before Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

 

Beginning of Alberta turnaround an 'updraft' for WestJet: CEO

Gregg Saretsky, CEO of WestJet joins BNN to talk about the company's latest quarter. He also weighs in on Ottawa's loan to Bombardier and a silver lining for Canada as a result of the uncertainty surrounding President Trump's policies.

Gregg Saretsky, CEO, WestJet

“We haven’t seen any evidence of an increase in business as a result [of Trump’s potential immigration policies]. It’s early days. I will say that [U2 singer] Bono, a famous musician, said at a concert once, that what the world needs now is more Canada… We still have a weak Canadian dollar. And I think that bodes well for tourism to Canada, and of course, WestJet hopes to participate in the updraft that comes from more tourists wanting to come and visit our country.”

 

OpenText CEO: We're open for business on new acquisitions

OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea tells BNN despite the spree of recent acquisitions the company has made, he's still game to open his wallet further for more deals.

Mark Barrenechea, CEO, OpenText

“We’re following the [U.S.] position on immigration and labour. We’ll be following the view on tax reform in the U.S. and new spending. I cannot envisage a North America that doesn’t have a trade agreement. I’m certainly a believer that economics ties us together, trade ties us together, and it needs to be fair for all parties. I’m sort of on the optimistic end that NAFTA – or a form of NAFTA – is going to remain in place.”

 

Surge Energy's veteran CEO: Why I didn't dilute investors

Paul Colborne, president and CEO at Surge Energy, joins BNN to explain how growing production levels has allowed the company to increase its dividend.

Paul Colborne, president and CEO, Surge Energy

“I think [a possible border tax] is a real red herring. When I look at it, I think why would they approve the [Keystone XL] pipeline and tie in the biggest oil reserves on the planet for security of supply reasons? It makes no sense to me that there would be a big border tax.”

 

NEO lands a trio of new ETF listings, continues to battle TMX

Jos Schmitt, CEO, Aequitas NEO Exchange is continuing to ramp up his ETF listings in the fight to gain a larger foothold in the competitive Canadian exchange market.

Jos Schmitt, CEO, Aequitas NEO Exchange

“What I see is a lot of uncertainty – and a lot of frustration [about the order to review Dodd-Frank]. There’s a lot of change taking place. Change for the better is not a bad thing. But it should be done in a very thought-through way. I think we should take a step back, look at Dodd-Frank – what are the good parts of it, what are the bad parts of it? You definitely don’t want to get back into a situation where 2008 becomes very, very close to us again. So I think we need to learn the lessons. Maybe with Dodd-Frank they went a bit too far.”

 

Cybersecurity behind Akamai Technologies' quarterly beat

Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai Technologies joins BNN to talk about the company's later quarter.

Tom Leighton, CEO, Akamai Technologies

“The travel ban really runs counter to our culture at Akamai. Diversity and inclusion are very important to us. It makes it hard – or impossible – for some of our employees to travel, causing a lot of concern for our employee base and also our customers.”

 

A more 'disciplined' energy sector looks to trade higher: Portfolio manager

While the crash in crude spelled trouble for many players, Michael Decter, president and CEO at LDIC Inc says it has forced companies to be much more disciplined and that bodes well for investors long term.

Michael Decter, president and CEO, LDIC Inc

"[Trump] has injected some unusual uncertainty into the business. But I often say to clients, many of whom as Canadians are not very keen on Mr. Trump as President of the United States, is that he may not be good for the world but he may be very good for the stock market and your portfolio. He is a very strongly pro-business president, he has a very pro-business cabinet."

 

During Trump era, Canada can't fly under the radar anymore: Former diplomat

As Prime Minister Trudeau prepares to meet with U.S. President Trump in Washington, Omar Allam, CEO and founder of Allam Advisory Group, joins BNN to discuss why Canada needs to take the reigns in trade negotiations with the U.S. and why Canadian firms need to start selling themselves to their peers across the border.

Omar Allam, CEO, Allam Advisory Group

"I think if you just look at the history of [Trump] doing business, he does have an appreciation for Canada. [U.S. Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson is someone who knows Canada very well. So I think from the Canadian standpoint — it's really looking at yes, Canada is going to be a friend to [Trump], but on what topics? … So we definitely have to continue the right level of communication."

 

Manulife AUM near $1T, CEO not worried about being 'too big to fail'

BNN speaks with Manulife CEO Don Guloien about the fourth quarter. The company reached $4-billion annual core profit. We talk about the risks, the growth opportunities and Guloien's expectations of reaching $1 trillion in assets under management before he retires.

Don Guloien, CEO, Manulife Financial 

"Dodd-Frank wasn't going to be a big negative [for Manulife]. To the degree that it helps out the banks in the United States and that it is good for the economy, it will be a positive for us in the macro-economic sense. But it doesn't have any direct impact on us. The more important thing is that the underlying U.S. economy is doing well. If there is less regulation and some more positive things in terms of economic growth, the U.S. will be doing really, really well. And that's good for us."

 

Just Energy CEO hopes geographic push into Europe will boost growth

As Just Energy continue to lose customers in the third quarter, Deb Merill, co-CEO at Just Energy Group, joins BNN to discuss why an expansion into Europe will drive growth in 2017.

Deb Merill, co-CEO, Just Energy

"We're actually very well-positioned from a tax perspective. I think we're in very good shape because we're very local to the U.S. The products we sell in the U.S. are supported and done in the U.S. So we aren't importing and exporting a lot of things. We like the idea of less regulation. That definitely helps us deliver these products were are really looking to launch to customers with less barriers to getting them to market." 

 

Pro-growth: What’s driving energy, TSX higher

The TSX composite is up 30 per cent since a low in January of 2016. John Stephenson, president and CEO at Stephenson & Company joins BNN to explain the contribution that energy and materials played in propelling the TSX to a new high. He also discusses how U.S. President Donald Trump is influencing the markets and the energy industry.

John Stephenson, president and CEO, Stephenson & Company

“I think the border tax is a big, big deal. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. The tax story has to get straightened. [The U.S. government] thinks it works. But it only works as an island. The retaliatory taxes and tariffs that other nations would put on would make this a pretty ugly scenario. I hope [Monday] is just a good meeting, and I hope [Trudeau and Trump] can get off on the right foot and set some good, positive relationships going forward. I think the reality is the Canadian government has actually done a  good job in reaching out to the U.S. government –  stressing the importance of the trade relationship, stressing the importance of the unique relationship we have.”