1 – Trade Wars Flashpoints, From China to Canada and Mexico
Wall Street has knee-jerk reactions to any trade war related headlines.
There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about trade wars. The world is increasingly more connected than ever. Many major American companies that are household names such as Starbucks (SBUX), Boeing (BA) and Apple (AAPL) rely on their exports (and imports) from China for a sizable portion of their overall sales and profits.
If China continues to retaliate against trade war policies from the U.S. with harsh measures of their own, it could hurt revenues of those firms.
But, here’s the latest revelation:
China wants to keep more of what it makes — in China — across a variety of sectors. Trade wars elevate the Chinese government’s desire to do that. The country has just recently launched a new $1.6 billion initiative called “Made in China 2025.”
The strategy entails an increase in research and development spending. That would cause Chinese companies to rely less on international technology and equipment. The more China buys internally, the less it will buy American products or need to export to the U.S.
What all of that could mean is that similar products in the U.S will become more expensive for consumers. That would hit directly at stock of those companies, making them more volatile.
While headlines from the White House continue to target China, our regional trading partners are undoubtedly some of the most important, and currently some of the most fragile.
To the north, Canada is playing up its optimism over NAFTA talks. Rhetoric is one thing, reality is another. It’s important to look at what institutions are doing, not what they’re saying.
Canada is currently enhancing its participation in several other trade agreements, including an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership that does not include the U.S. In the wake of Brexit, Canada has also made important trade links to both Europe and the U.K.
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