In the first three months of the year, markets let down their guard over potential trade disruption, as beneficiaries of global trade outperformed.
This was based on initial conciliatory gestures by President Donald Trump toward China by recognizing “One China”; by not labeling China as a currency manipulator; and by the administration’s inability to move health care legislation through Congress. A global restocking of inventory, benefitting exporter-oriented countries the most, was also a contributing factor. But we believe trade is Trump’s signature issue, and that trade frictions will rise as the year progresses.
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