Business leaders in Louisiana are confident a Trump Administration will be good for the state’s economy. Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack says government regulations, like the new overtime pay order and Obamacare, are hurtful to small businesses.

“We’re hoping that the new regime will really target these types of regulations and try to lessen some of the stranglehold we have on our small businesses,” Waguespack said.

Waguespack also has high hopes for the oil industry in Louisiana when Republicans take control of the White House. He says the government needs to encourage more investment in oil and gas.

“We’re hoping he takes an aggressive pro-energy production mindset, and if that happens, we think Louisiana will be one of the first states to benefit,” Waguespack said.

LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott has concerns about the president-elect’s campaign promises about renegotiating trade agreements. He says after NAFTA was established in 1994, the Bayou State did see a significant loss, but it was followed by a tremendous economic boost.

“We lost Fruit of the Loom, which had about 12,000 employees at the time, but we gained so much that the state actually went into one of its best growth periods ever,” Scott said.

Scott says while open trade does have negative impacts on some businesses, it has overall benefits for the economy as a whole. He says raising barriers to trade will create problems for Louisiana’s ports and industries, because our trade partners won’t react passively.

“Our trading partners don’t just sit back and say ‘Well, that’s too bad.’ They always retaliate and put tariffs on our exports, and what we want to avoid is a trade war,” Scott said.