Tensions are mounting between China and the U.S. as China implements retaliatory tariffs against 128 U.S. products in response to the current administration’s import tariffs on steel and aluminum from China.
Between rising fears of a trade war and bad publicity in the tech industry, the Dow plummeted 458.92 points.
Early on in March, the sitting president pushed forward with strict steel and aluminum import tariffs against China in a move that upset Democrats and Republicans alike and drew criticism from business leaders.
“The U.S. will become an island of high steel prices that will result in our customers simply sourcing our products from our overseas competitors and importing them into the United States tariff-free,” – the Precision Metalforming and National Tooling and Machining Associations
In addition to rocking domestic markets and terrifying CEO’s and investors, the move also further destabilized negotiations surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA, which the president has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from.
Now, in response, China has implemented its own, sweeping set of tariffs against no fewer than 128 U.S. products, including nuts, fruit, pork, and steel pipes.
The move raises concerns that it will be American farmers who pay the price for this trade war, as China was the U.S.’s top importer for pork, walnuts, cherries, apples, and almonds last year.
“Trump’s planned tariffs are not only going to hamper the U.S. economic well-being and continued progress, and burden its people with higher costs of living, but also pose a grave threat to the current global trading system.” — New China
To make matters worse, the president has already announced an additional set of tariffs that would target approximately $60 billion in Chinese exports and are meant to combat the theft of U.S. intellectual property.
And, as if looming trade war with China weren’t enough, the tech sector of the stock market took a hard hit as industry giants Facebook and Amazon suffer heavy losses amid heavy scandal and criticism.
The revelation and controversy of Facebook data mining conducted by Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 election has sent the social media platform’s stock tumbling and has raised questions over whether or not the scandal spells doom for the company.
Facing increasing attacks from the president via Twitter, Amazon’s stock fell 5% in addition to the $60 billion losses in market value since last week when the president announced his intention to “go after” the tech giant.
Supposedly, the crux of the feud with Amazon lies in The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and which the president has has called a “lobbyist weapon.”
Amazon does not own The Washington Post, nor does it have a stake in the paper.
But facts of reality will not stop the president from sabotaging the highest performing sector of the stock market; neither will they stop him from continuing to damage trade relations with our biggest creditor, nor risking the wellbeing of American steel workers and farmers.