Shares in large U.S. food companies, including General Mills, fell Wednesday after analysts warned that a Trump presidency could have on negative effect on global trade.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals if Canada and Mexico don't agree to the United States' demands for more favorable terms. Since companies like Golden Valley-based General Mills sell products outside the U.S., they are more exposed to international volatility.
"While it is far from clear, a Trump presidency may be a small net negative for food companies, particularly those with emerging market sales and production footprints," David Palmer, RBC Capital Markets analyst, wrote in a note Tuesday. "Certain protectionist policies could limit growth and lead to currency depreciation in emerging markets."
Mondelez, maker of Oreo cookies, Chips Ahoy, Trident gum and Toblerone chocolate bars, bears the most international exposure, followed by Kellogg and General Mills, which each rely on foreign sales for nearly a third of its total sales.
But, Palmer says, a Clinton presidency likely would have seen the continuation of First Lady Michelle Obama's push for more stringent package labeling, like added sugars, which many Big Food companies have fought. A Clinton Administration likely would have worked "to improve consumer access to locally produced and organic foods, especially as part of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)," Palmer wrote. "Meanwhile, Trump has discussed the idea of reducing funding for SNAP and the Environmental Protection Agency."
General Mills shares declined 1.52 percent Wednesday, closing at $62.74.