The panic over Trump’s blacklisting of Huawei was reaching a fever pitch. The fall out had gotten so bad that it looks like the President decided to take a step back. Trump has now granted a three-month reprieve on the blacklist to give companies time to adjust. The stay is not a cancellation of the decision, just a window for adjustment. Huawei says it “doesn’t mean much”.
FINSUM: This is smarter than a sudden blanket ban as it will give a little adjustment period which may make it a bit easier for companies and markets to digest.
President Trump warned yesterday that he hoped the US could avoid a war with Iran. Some of the president’s advisers are more hawkish on Iran that Trump himself. Tensions are rising sharply and Trump is reportedly quite against going to war with the middle eastern state. The White House has been warning about increased threats from Iran, but few details have yet been shred, even with Congress, so for now the specifics are unclear.
FINSUM: Since the details of the threat are not at all known, it is hard to make an opinion on a course of action.
President Trump has taken a flurry of brisk actions as part of the ongoing trade spat between China and the US. After hiking tariffs and considering more, Trump now officially took the step of effectively outlawing US business with Huawei. He issued an executive order that gives the Commerce secretary power to review any transactions that could pose a risk to national security. The US Department of Commerce also put Huawei on its “Entity List”, which means US companies will need to apply for a license before doing business with it.
FINSUM: To be completely honest we are quite worried about the implications of this trade war and how it could play out on many fronts. The trade war almost feels like a microcosm of the larger political and cultural leadership struggle between the US and China and that worries us.
President Trump followed through on his threats today, hiking tariffs on China to 25% across $200 bn worth of goods. The move came as US and Chinese negotiators have not been making much progress in talks. Beijing has vowed to retaliate, but the talks between the two nations are continuing. Trump reinforced that there was no need to rush on a deal. Stocks opened lower on the news.
FINSUM: This certainly does not seem like good news and we are starting to think it may be some time before a real deal happens, which means the issue may continue to loom over the market.
Investors are currently worried about the trade war between China and the US. Tensions have reached a new peak this week after threats from President Trump regarding hiking the tariff rate to 25%. This big development, and the trade war generally, prompted JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to weigh in this week. “The odds of something bad happening [in trade negotiations] is now double. Whatever you thought they were — 2%, 5%, 10% is probably doubled. That’s why the market is reacting to it because they’re not just afraid of the direct effect, they’re afraid if it reverses global trade, it reverses global growth and hurts trade around the world”. All that said, he sees an 80% likelihood a deal will occur because smart people on both sides will make it happen.
FINSUM: We agree with Jamie. Both sides have a lot on the line and we think everyone will eager to seal a deal, even if a modest one, and move on. Perhaps that is western-centric thinking though.