US: Trump’s plans for fair trade sound like a border tax adjustment - ING

In view of the analysts at ING, US President Trump’s address to Congress contained much of what they have come to expect: i) tax cuts for businesses and the middle class ii)  $1trn worth of infrastructure spending (financed by public and private partnership) and iii) fairer trade.

Key Quotes

“Last year’s near US$800bn US trade deficit is very much in focus and Trump’s remarks last night regarding unfair international tax structures point to growing acceptance of Paul Ryan’s border tax adjustment (BTA) plan. Beyond the touted benefits of encouraging onshoring and discouraging corporate tax inversions, the BTA is also ear-marked to generate US$100bn of increased tax revenue – which seems essential to pay for corporate tax cuts elsewhere.”

“There is much literature on why a 20% border tax adjustment necessitates a 25% rally in the dollar. The magnitude of the impact will be disputed, but the direction of travel should be pretty clear and keep the dollar supported into key Trump speeches (talk of tax details being released March 13th). The  dollar is also  being supported by the now 78% probability of  Fed March hike – after Fed insider Dudley said the case for a rate hike had become ‘a lot more compelling’. A strong ISM and the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, headline PCE, pushing to 2.0% today both point to further dollar strength. DXY to 102.05/10.”

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