Businesses Will Have a Lot of ‘Concerns’ If Obama Wins: Ross
Writer CNBC.com Asia
An Obama re-election will only fuel corporate America's fears as it holds back on investing in the country amid a stalemate over the "fiscal cliff" and lack of clarity over tax rates, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross told CNBC.
Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross, an investment firm that oversees $9 billion in assets, said the one thing that businesses dislike most is uncertainty.
"There's an old saying: business can deal with good news, business can deal with bad news, pretty hard for business to deal with uncertainty," Ross told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."
"And right now, particularly if you had an Obama re-election, the uncertainties are not only the 'fiscal cliff,' which is big enough, but also uncertainties over what the tax rate will be and how bad the regulatory environment will become," he added.
Ross' comments come less than a day before Americans are due to cast their votes to elect their president and most polls show that Democrat incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are almost neck-to-neck in the race.
This year's elections are particularly significant for the U.S. economy because the two candidates have opposing views on taxes and the budget deficit, as well as on ways to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, which economists said will push the U.S. economy into recession unless Congress acts.
(Read more: 'Fiscal Cliff': Two Candidates, Two Approaches)
Obama has said he will need to raise taxes for wealthy individuals, big companies and on investment income, while Romney has vowed to cut taxes across the board.
This uncertainty, both over taxes and the "fiscal cliff," is precisely why companies have been afraid to invest, Ross said.
"There's no question that capital investment by businesses has been held back," he said. "Businesses are taking a very cautious view, that's why 80 major CEOs have signed a petition begging the government to solve the 'fiscal cliff.'"
"So there will be frankly a lot of ongoing concerns that businesses will have in the event of an Obama re-election," he added.
(Read more: Why CEOs Are on the 'Fiscal Cliff' Warpath)
What the U.S. needs is a president who is focused on improving the economy and getting the deficit under control, and that's why Ross is voting for Romney. Obama, on the other hand, has "totally ignored" the deficit issue, he said.
China Bashing 'Wildly Overdone'
The political rhetoric against China accusing it of taking away American jobs and manipulating its currency is overdone, according to Ross.
"I think the China-bashing is wildly overdone in this country. The reality is if something were to happen that cost China jobs, like if they upwardly revalued the currency a lot, those jobs aren't going to come back to the U.S.," Ross said. "They would go to Vietnam, Thailand, they would go to whatever country that has the lowest cost."
Rather than demonizing China, the U.S should invest in innovation and technology to create new industries and hence, new jobs, he added.
The U.S. jobless rate edged up to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September. Before this, the country's jobless rate has stayed above 8 percent since February 2009, a month after Obama took office.
-By CNBC's Jean Chua.