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Is Trump Serious About The Tariffs Or Is This Just A Big Game Of Chicken?

Tematica Research profile picture
Tematica Research

After a whipsaw trading week, as we enter the new week I am pondering all the implications of President Trump's Tariff talk. As Tematica's Chief Macro Strategist, Lenore Hawkins, discussed in last week's Weekly Wrap the markets were blindsided last Thursday when President Trump announced that the U.S. will implement a 25% import tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum. Over the weekend, in response to any retaliation from the EU, Trump tweeted a countermove.

If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2018

The President's fresh injection of uncertainty led equities to sell off again this Monday morning as investors and talking heads alike chewed on potential implications to be had.

On Fox Business' The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan last Friday afternoon - you can watch that video - I shared my view that we have to question whether President Trump will go ahead with these proposed tariffs or is it a negotiating tactic at a time when NAFTA negotiations remain underway? We've seen the president pull this tactic from his book, Art of the Deal, several times over the last year and given the potential consequence of a trade war to the domestic economy as well as the stock market, my opinion is we can't rule this possibility out.

While it's true that Trump escalated things over the weekend in a tweet saying, "If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars

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Tematica Research profile picture
We see Investment themes at work and at play every day in the economy — oftentimes across industries and categories — and other aspects of day to day life. It is the opposite of the typical Wall Street approach to research, which oftentimes overly focuses on a single industry at a time and results in missed opportunities. These themes are identified by looking at the intersection of shifting economics, demographics, psychographics, technologies, mixed in with regulatory mandates and other forces. In other words, looking at the real world that companies are operating in! Some businesses will adapt, while others will leap frog ahead riding these thematic tailwinds to profits and significant share price movements, and sadly there will be those left floundering too. For every Apple, there is a Palm and Blackberry. For every Facebook . . . a MySpace or Friendster. For every Netflix, there’s a Blockbuster. The list goes on and on, even in non-technology categories. By examining these thematic tailwinds, our goal is to identify mispriced securities relative to the business opportunities ahead and avoid those that are overly valued and or staring down the barrel of significant headwinds

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Comments (6)

Nothing wrong with reciprocal tariffs to counter the tariffs of countries subsidizing exports and conducting illegal transshipments to cheat on quotas. Tariffs are not stagnant but short term pain for long term gain.
More like a short term political gain for long term pain in this round. Don't go to war if there is nothing to gain and we will not gain from this!
Ben Gee profile picture
It may just be short term pain for longer term pain.
fried or broiled, but most likely,
IN the SOUP!!!
Roger Salus profile picture
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
vooch profile picture
big game of chicken
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