Trade Wars Set To Go Nuclear: US Considering Broad Curbs On Chinese Imports
Trump himself has also said that the trade wars have one major target: Beijing, with the rest of the world negotiable collateral damage. Just yesterday, the US trade rep made it clear that both Mexico and Canada would get an exemption from the tariffs once they agreed to a "fair" renegotiation of Nafta.
And beyond the already announced aluminum and steel tariffs, there is another far more troubling aspect, or rather number, to Trump's protectionist push noted by Strategas. The number is $1 trillion. Here is Strategas:
President Trump is considering imposing tariffs on Chinese goods in response to China stealing US intellectual property. This is often referred to as Section 301 and President Trump specifically mentioned this action in both his Davos and State of the Union speeches. The rumor around DC is that the US will impose $1 trillion of tariffs, which would shock financial markets. We believe the $1 trillion number is too high. Since the US imports $450bn from China, across the board tariffs would need to be 200 percent. Even for Trump that is too much. But given the magnitude of what is being discussed, China would need to respond.
If Strategas is correct, and if Trump's ultimate intention is to hit China with tariffs in the "hundreds of billions" (or more), it's on, and the resulting trade wars will promptly cripple all China-facing US corporations first, followed by the rest of the S&P.
The U.S. actions would result from the U.S. Trade Representative’s 301 investigation into China IP practices, and will hardly be a surprise now that Trump's chief trade advisor is Peter Navarro, author of such books as "Death by China" and "Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World"