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The Trade War

by Marshall Blume

PMA clients – like much of America — have their eyes on the markets, trying to read financial tea leaves against the backdrop of growing trade wars. We, too, pay close attention to the trade climate as we look to optimize client portfolios to both seize upside and soften downside. The trade environment is one of many elements we balance in our allocation process, and currently the squeakiest wheel!

Last March, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and the EU won temporary exemptions, though Mr. Trump later removed them. At the end of March, Mr. Trump reached an agreement with South Korea to exempt it, but with the provision that South Korea agree to a reduction of its exports of steel to the US by 30 percent—a quota.

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