2018-01-23 — cnbc.com
The Trump administrations' new tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels smack of protectionism, but they are not signaling the U.S. is willing to take the kind of broad brush trade actions that would upset the stock market -- like killing NAFTA.
On NAFTA, trade representatives see some promising signs since President Trump has moderated his stance, telling farmers recently he would like to improve NAFTA.
He has even moderated his stand to say negotiations could continue around Mexico's presidential election on July 1.
"The president has backed off on that threat of pulling out until after the Mexican election. I think going into this sixth round, there's a more positive temperament from all three sides," said Orr.
While the stock market did not respond to the tariffs, the solar industry immediately blasted the them as a major negative. Both China and South Korea criticized the import tariffs, and Seoul said it would take its complaint to the World Trade Organization.
"I think the perception is that something was going to happen sooner or later and these probably are not as extreme as they could have been," said Robert Sinche, chief global strategist at Amherst Pierpont. "It looks like the economic impacts are relatively minor. The bigger fear would be retributions and so far that's been relatively muted."
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