Buffalo, NY (WBEN/AP)
Stocks are sinking again after the U.S. and China each announced tariffs on goods exported by the other, a move that increased investors’ worries over a trade dispute that could slow down global commerce. The Chinese government issued a $50 billion list of more than 100 U.S. goods targeted for a possible 25 percent tariff hike. The duties could drive up costs for companies that make airplanes and machinery as well as airlines, and automakers are targets as well.
While in Buffalo yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer yesterday said he supports President Trump’s stance on China, though Trump backers like Mike Lomas of the Financial Guys are questioning the strategy. “I’ve agreed with Donald Trump on immigration, I’ve agreed with him on tax reform, but I can’t tell you how far apart we are with his war on trade,” Lomas told WBEN. “It sounds really good when you’re running for oce and you’re running a campaign, that you’re going to win the war on trade. He said this morning that we’re not in a trade war, well somebody better let him know we are.” But could trump reverse course? “Trump put Larry Kudlow in place as his top economic advisor, and I can tell you that Larry is staunchly pro-free trade,” Lomas said. “This guy was a leader under Reagan, and he gets it. I’m hoping Donald Trump starts to listen to him. If he does, I think we can right some of this stuff.”
In the meantime, the markets are taking a hit. The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 501 points at the opening bell Wednesday as industrial and large technology companies took some of the worst losses. After a big drop Monday and a recovery Tuesday, the S&P 500 is down more than 2 percent this week. It’s down almost 5 percent since March 1 as investors have focused on tariffs as well as controversies surrounding technology companies including Facebook.