"We are not in a trade war with China," President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, but that didn't calm investors. The Dow opened down 500 points, and is hovering about 350 points, or about 1.5%, down as of this writing. The sell-off was sparked by news that China recommended slapping a tariff of up to 25% on 106 American products. The AP reports energy, industrial, and materials sectors are at the front of the losing pack, with Deere & Co. down 4.3% and Caterpillar down almost 3%; the new tariffs would hit American-made aircraft, one of our three biggest exports to China in 2017, and Boeing sank 3.3%.
The president's tweet didn't stop at that one line, but continued, "that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!" A couple of hours later he added, "When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!" (Read more Dow Jones stories.)