US Protectionism gaining ground in form of steel and aluminium tariffs, proposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports and sacking of moderate Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sparked a slide in Asian stock markets. The dollar has seen a fall which global equities also took a hit. The latest developments have jolted the investor confidence.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific, Australian markets, Nikkei, Kospi, Wall Street, Dow Jones, Nasdaq Composite all came down some percentage points leading to global economic fears.
The departure of Tillerson marks a worrying trend and an apparent volatility in the Oval Office. The exit also defines a more upbeat time for those favouring protectionism. The news has coincided with new tariff decisions underway on Chinese imports. Investors are fearing increased protectionism might not shy away from the use of currency as a trade weapon. The whole chaos is topped by looming North-Korean and US Summit, annual core inflation and a sunken US Consumer Price data. This, in other words, spells weakness in dollar amongst a basket of currencies.
35 senior officials have left the administration since President Trump took office.