Business leaders are expressing frustration and uncertainty about the US-China trade war
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- Executives at S&P 500 companies sounded off on the US-China trade war during their first-quarter conference calls.
- Goldman Sachs equity strategists analyzed a selection of executive commentary across S&P 500 earnings calls and found trade-related uncertainty to be a major theme plaguing business.
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If there's an elephant in the room that US multinational corporations are grappling with, it's the ongoing trade war between the two largest economies in the world.Executives at S&P 500 companies addressed how the US-China trade dispute impacted their company's first-quarter earnings results, detailing a significant degree of uncertainty and the extent of their exposure.Advertisement
Executives said the uncertainty over trade made it more difficult to navigate their relationship with China but did not have significant near-term ramifications."The decision by President Trump to raise tariffs surprised both managements and investors who had believed the trade friction was moving towards a resolution," the strategists, led by David Kostin, wrote in a report to clients out Monday.
Downward pressure on profit margins remains a risk for many companies, the strategists said, while some corporations were already preparing to shift their supply chains away from China to minimize the impact.It should be noted that the comments listed below were made before the most recent escalation in the trade war, which rocked global markets over the last week. China on Monday hiked tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, sending markets plunging. Advertisement
That followed President Donald Trump's surprise announcement last Friday that the US would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25%. The announcement took investors by surprise after Trump earlier this month said Beijing and Washington's trade talks were progressing.
Below is a selection of what companies about the trade war's impact on business:
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