Or just listen to what the manufacturers themselves have been saying. The CEO of Allegheny Technologies told the Wall Street Journal that while he supported Trump’s 25 percent tax on imported steel, he also wanted a special exemption from it. Turns out the tariff has made the importation of nickel-bearing stainless steel slabs — which the company then uses to make high-performance alloys — “unreasonably expensive” and put the jobs of “hundreds of Pennsylvanians” at risk. In other words, Econ 101 for the win.
There’s no doubt that those cold-hearted, hypercapitalists on Wall Street like the China trade deal. But that’s not because most investors think it will cause GDP to accelerate or make the economy more competitive. They just think it greatly reduces the chance of further escalation into truly dangerous territory. It’s another situation where Trump is solving a problem he started or worsened. And the only reason the tariffs haven’t been more damaging is that their impact was lessened by the Trump tax cuts and a looser Federal Reserve. The downside there is it works both ways. The tariffs also made the tax cuts look ineffective in boosting investment and productivity. Definitely not something for market capitalists to cheer.