One look at the Dollar Index in the last week and it’s clear just how ‘variable’ President Trump’s position has been on trade and so-called ‘border adjustments’. In the space of a few days, he has swung from being against a border adjustment, to possibly being for it, and now today confirming that “we are going to impose a major border tax.” Yen, Peso, and Loonie are all sliding further on the headline.
Specifically, as the clips below show, Trump promised business leaders a “very major” border tax and said he would cut regulations by 75%. Trump held a breakfast meeting with the business leaders he named to an advisory panel on manufacturing, led by Andrew Liveris, chief executive officer of Dow Chemical Co. Other business leaders at the morning meeting with Trump included Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc.; Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp.; Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co.; and Marillyn Hewson,chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp.
- “We’re trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent, and it’s now 35 percent, but it’s probably more 38 percent than it is 35”
- “What we want to do is bring manufacturing back… It’s what the people wanted”
- “What we want is fair trade”
- “That doesn’t mean we don’t trade because we do trade”
- “If you go to another country” and cut thousands of jobs, “we are going to be imposing a very major border tax” on the product the comes in
- “You are great people,” Trump tells CEOs
- “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment,” Trump says
- “But some of that stuff makes it impossible to get anything built”
Later in the day, Trump will meet with a group of labor leaders and U.S. workers, according to his public schedule. In between, he’ll sign executive orders related to trade and labor issues, an administration official said. The official didn’t provide further detail on the orders.
And the instant reaction is a jolt higher in the dollar.
While Yen knee-jerked lower on his statement, it is still the Peso and the Loonie that are hardest hit so far.