Trump's trade battles about to kick into high gear
- President Donald Trump has opened up trade fights on numerous fronts, including with Canada, Europe, and China.
- There are several deadlines coming up in June and July that could determine whether Trump imposes more tariffs.
- According to analysts, the deadlines could ramp up the risk of a full-blown trade war.
President Donald Trump has opened trade battles with countries around the world, and the next two months could decide whether the US ends up in a full-blown trade war on several different fronts.
Libby Cantrill, the head of public policy for investment giant Pimco, highlighted the pile up of trade deadlines, warning that they could intensify the battle.
"Given President Trump’s deep-seated belief that the US is getting shortchanged on trade, combined with the executive branch’s enormous flexibility around trade policy and a staff (such as US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer) who largely shares his views, we do not see trade policy risk diminishing, at least in the foreseeable future," Cantrill wrote.
"Indeed, with the number of potential catalysts in the next month or so, we could see it escalate."
Daniel Silver, an economist At JPMorgan, wrote that the upcoming deadlines aren't the only trade moves that the Trump administration is navigating.
"Apart from these listed tariffs that have received the most attention, the US International Trade Commission constantly is reviewing cases that could lead to tariffs being implemented on other narrow product categories, and the Trump Administration could also start to focus on new areas for protectionist policies," Silver wrote in a note to clients.
Here's a rundown of the major catalysts in Trump's ongoing trade disputes:
- June 15: The Trump administration will finalise the list of Chinese goods subject to the new 25% tariffs, with items from birth control to industrial machinery expected to be on the list. The tariffs will go into effect soon after, per administration guidance.
- June 22: Deadline for public comments on vehicle restrictions. This is the first major deadline in a Section 232 investigation into car imports. That's the same method used to impose steel and aluminium tariffs. The investigation could end in tariffs on foreign cars and trucks.
- June 30: The Treasury Department is scheduled to release a list of investment restrictions that will apply to Chinese businesses. Measures under consideration include limits on visas to Chinese citizens and limits on tech investment by Chinese firms.
- July 1: Tariffs on US goods by Canada will go into effect. Goods ranging from hairspray to raw aluminium will get hit by the restrictions.
- July 1: The Mexican presidential election is held. It could have serious ramifications for trade policies and the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, negotiations.
- Early July: EU tariffs on US goods will go into effect. Goods ranging from hairspray to raw aluminium will get hit.
- July 19-20: Public hearings on the Section 232 investigation into car imports will be held.
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