The Investment Scientist

The Trade War May Be Here To Stay

Posted on: June 3, 2019

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The trade deal between the US and China fell through a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve read at least three versions of what happened, ranging from Trump applying maximum pressure, to Xi reneging, to Xi wanting to do the deal but not being able to get the politburo to go along. Wall Street is hoping Trump and Xi, who will be meeting at the G20 a month from now, can magically salvage the deal. Based on what I’ve read in Chinese media, I am a lot less hopeful. Prior to Trump’s last-minute maximum pressure surprise, I saw the state media was preparing people for a deal; after that, it was preparing people for a long fight.

Bloomberg recently published a study of the economic impact of tariff escalation (see chart below.) As you know, I generally don’t react to the news, but this is looking like a structural change to the world economy that may warrant a reduction in risk exposure. If you are worried, feel free to schedule a time with me to talk about it: http://calendly.com/mzhuang/15min.

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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