Monday, October 16, 2017

Trade War With China? There's An ETF for That

Hoisted from the archives, originally posted Feb. 9, 2010:

"China Warns US Relationship Turning Increasingly Sour" and "Five ETFs For A Trade War With China"

There's an App for that.*
China’s Foreign Ministry warned again today about the possibility of worsening ties with the United States, slamming the Obama Administration for its plan to meet the Dalai Lama in a pending visit.
Chinese FM Yang Jiechi
The Chinese spokesman cautioned that the US should “realize the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues” The Dalai Lama visit is far from the only incident in recent weeks causing tension.
China is also furious at an Obama Administration plan to sell several billion dollars worth of weapons to Taiwan, a plan announced last week. There have been calls for boycotts of American arms companies in retaliation.
The United States has criticized China over a cyber attack on Google has threatened to leave the nation in response to the attack and the US State Department has condemned China’s censorship of the internet.
All these incidents add up to a growing rift between the two nations, one which will almost certainly complicate administration attempts to push through sanctions against Iran. China has opposed the sanctions, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has threatened China with “isolation” over their reluctance. Though the US threat is likely an empty one, in the current tense environment it might push China further away from supporting new sanctions.
From ETF Database:
Sino-American relations are quickly reaching a breaking point, as the Obama administration continues to spar with the People’s Republic of China over a variety of issues. The first clash was seen in the tariffs proposed on Chinese steel pipe manufacturers last year, followed by another dispute related to tire producers shortly thereafter. The Chinese took a hard line approach in their response, threatening to apply similar duties to American products such as agricultural goods, much to the dismay of American producers. Although tempers cooled over the winter, tensions are heating up between these two economic rivals following a series of recent developments....
...Although a trade war still seems unlikely at this point, the possibility is growing as relations are put under more pressure. Should America and China find themselves in a protracted trade dispute in which tariffs rise on a multitude of products, several ETFs could see a big move....

...Market Vectors Vietnam ETF VNM

If firms believe that prolonged tariffs will be imposed upon companies in China, they may try to move operations to low-cost Vietnam or chose to open up shop in Hanoi instead of Beijing. Vietnam offers multinationals cheap labor costs, a large market, and distance from the fraying relations between the two superpowers. This could allow Vietnam to sell products to both countries, allowing its manufacturing base to get a boost from any significant tariffs. This increased investment will also boost financials firms which stand to benefit from capital inflows as well as higher employment levels. The financials and industrials sectors make up more than 60% of VNM.

Global X China Consumer ETF CHIQ

In order to prevent a worsening unemployment situation that would be caused by American tariffs (some Chinese sources are estimating that over 100,000 Chinese would lose their jobs) China may have to significantly increase domestic consumption to pick up slack for decreased American purchases. If the government is able to spur consumption, it could have a huge impact on CHIQ which has about 21% allocated to consumer services and 28% to retail, two segments that are likely to see a boost in demand from increased spending.

Industrials Select Sector SPDR XLI

While tariffs are sure to hurt foreign manufacturing, they will likely help struggling American manufacturing firms that will be protected from low-cost competition in China. Firms such as General Electric and United Technology Group, which make up 18.3% of XLI, stand to benefit if double-digit tariffs like the 35% duty that was put on Chinese tires are applied to other products as well. These duties would go a long way to making American manufacturing competitive, at least domestically, which would help to boost the outlook of the entire industrials sector....MORE
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