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Business Roundtable: Trump Trade War Hurts CEO Confidence

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By    |   Monday, 24 September 2018 01:51 PM

President Donald Trump's trade war reportedly is frightening U.S. chief executives, who are furiously cutting investment and hiring plans.

The Business Roundtable survey found that nearly two-thirds of chief executives said recent tariffs and future trade tension would have a negative impact on their capital investment decisions over the next six months, CNBC.com reported.

Roughly one-third expected no impact on their business, while only 2 percent forecast a positive effect. the survey found.

The conflicting forces of strong business conditions and fears over trade were reflected in the group's broad index of economic outlook. That index declined almost 2 points to 109.3, but it remains well above the historical average.

"Business leaders are showing their confidence in the U.S. economy with strong plans for investment and hiring in the months to come," BRT Chairman and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

"Pro-growth policies have helped unleash this confidence with an agenda centered on tax reform and smart regulation. The uncertainty around our trade policies remains a risk."

The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to knock global economic growth, Reuters reported.

Soon after the new duties went into effect, China accused the U.S. of engaging in “trade bullyism” and said it was intimidating other countries to submit to its will, the official Xinhua news agency said, reiterating China’s willingness to fight if necessary.

But Beijing also said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the United States if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” Xinhua said, citing a white paper on the dispute published by China’s State Council.

U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect at midday Asian time, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared.

“One of the bigger risks with these tariffs going into effect is that the United States may be pushed out of the Chinese market and it is a growing market,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Moody’s said Monday additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports are negative for various sectors in both countries and could spread beyond targeted sectors, adding that tariffs are credit negative for U.S. furniture & home goods retailers, with more than half their imports coming from china last year.

Meanwhile, the world’s two biggest economies are digging in for what could be a long and bruising trade war, testing the resilience of the strongest global upswing in years, Bloomberg reported.

The hardening rhetoric is increasingly giving way to actions that are hurting the world economy, Fitch Ratings said in its latest global outlook.

“The trade war is now a reality,” Fitch chief economist Brian Coulton said in the release. The ratings firm downgraded its world growth forecast for 2019 by 0.1 percentage point to 3.1 percent and warned of further downside risks.

Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.

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The Business Roundtable survey found that nearly two-thirds of chief executives said recent tariffs and future trade tension would have a negative impact on their capital investment decisions over the next six months, CNBC.com reported.
business, roundtable, trump, trade, war, ceo, confidence
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2018-51-24
Monday, 24 September 2018 01:51 PM
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