Industrial stocks are getting whacked as Trump's new tariffs grow ever closer

  • Industrial stocks are down again Wednesday after the resignation of White House economic advisor Gary Cohn amid President Donald Trump’s continued push for his proposed tariffs.
  • Caterpillarwas down more than 2% in trading Wednesday morning, GEwas down 1.13%, and Boeingwas down 0.81%.

Industrial stocks are taking a hit Wednesday as new tariffs on imported metals seem to have one less obstacle after economic advisor Gary Cohn’s resignation Tuesday afternoon.

Caterpillar was down as much as 2% in trading Wednesday morning, and down 8% for the week. GE was down 1.13%, and Boeing was down 0.81%.

White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohn resigned late Tuesday, citing President Trump’s promised tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminium as the final straw. His absence potentially clears a remaining hurdle to the new taxes becoming law, and creates a void that could have serious implications for the broader US economy.

While shares of metals producers like US Steel have gotten a boost from all the talk of tariffs, most industrials have fallen in the week since.

Boeing, which imports metal for its factories in Washington and South Carolina, is down 5.3%, or more than $US10 billion of book value, in the past seven days.

The new tariffs come at a particularly inopportune time for automakers as well, who import much of the aluminium used in new vehicles from Canada, two industry experts told Business Insider on Wednesday.

“The clearest takeaway is that Cohn’s departure serves as an unambiguous affirmation of the trade protectionist ascendancy in the West Wing,” Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at research firm Compass Point, said Wednesday. “The steel and aluminium tariffs, coupled with Cohn’s departure, clearly suggest that President Trump’s aggressive posture on trade issues – including NAFTA and China – will only harden in the months ahead.”

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