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Hillary Clinton’s policies will support US economic growth long term: ANZ

Hillary Clinton holds a rally at Temple University on July 29, 2016 in Philadelphia.
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Hillary Clinton holds a rally at Temple University on July 29, 2016 in Philadelphia.

Hillary Clinton's economic policies would likely spur U.S. economic growth for the longer term, but her hawkish view on China could pose risks, ANZ said in a note Thursday.

"Clinton's key policy proposals would likely result in a higher federal fiscal deficit as new spending outweighs tax increases, Tom Kenny, senior economist at ANZ, said in a note. ANZ is one of Australia's Big Four banks. "Expansionary fiscal policy should be supportive of growth and higher inflation."

Among tax proposals, Clinton's plan would impose a 30 percent minimum tax on individual taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $1 million and limit the value of some deductions. For businesses, the tax plan would include measures to raise the threshold for foreign ownership before a U.S. company can give up its U.S. tax residence to 50 percent from 20 percent. It would also eliminate tax incentives for fossil fuels.

"Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent, while the bottom 95 percent would see little or no change in their tax," Kenny said. "As a consequence, the impact on consumption spending is expected to be minimal."

The tax proposals would bring in more than $1 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next 10 years, Kenny noted, citing data from the independent Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Those tax changes would accompany over $2 trillion in new spending on infrastructure, education and other health and family-related spending, under Clinton's plan, Kenny noted.

"Her spending plans on infrastructure and education should support long-term U.S. growth. Stimulatory fiscal policy should also result in tighter monetary policy and higher long term interest rates," Kenny said.

He also noted positives from Clinton's support for the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which passed the Senate, but failed to clear the House of Representatives.

That bill would increase family-based and skill-based immigration and increase the number of temporary immigration visas for skilled and unskilled workers, the report said, noting a Congressional Budget Office estimate that it would boost the number of immigrants by around a million a year over ten years.

Kenny estimated that would boost U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth by a bit over 3 percent.

But he saw the potential for concerns over Asia growth in a Clinton presidency, particularly from her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

"A failure of the TPP to get over the line will represent a missed opportunity for many Asian economies," he said, but he added, "the failure of the TPP is likely to have limited implications for the U.S. economy."

When it comes to China, Kenny noted that Chinese officials consider Clinton a "policy hawk" who would aim to contain the mainland's power. That could be a headwind for economic relations between the two countries, he said.

"Clinton has been a long-term outspoken critic of China's human rights record and has been vocal in her opposition to China's territorial claims in the South China Sea," he said. "A Clinton Presidency could represent a geopolitical risk that could turn out to have adverse implications for U.S.-Sino relations, and thus have negative implications for global growth."

To be sure, that contrasts with a seemingly tougher stance from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has claimed he would take a hard line with China by labeling it a currency manipulator and smack the mainland with a 45 percent tariffs on its exports to the U.S., Kenny noted.

"At face value, a Trump Presidency may be viewed more dimly for China than Clinton. However, it appears that Chinese officials consider much of this as talk as 'election rhetoric' and that if Trump were to become President his position would ultimately shift and trade deals would be done," Kenny said.

Kenny also noted that the oil and coal industries would take a hit under Clinton's proposals, which would target renewable energy use to grow to 25 percent of the U.S. energy mix by 2025.

"Tax credits to support renewables would be continued, whereas fossil fuel subsidies would be phased out," he noted.


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—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1