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Trump Trade Policy Changes Could Hamper U.S. Equipment Manufacturers’ Exports

Posted March 10, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Association of Equipment Manufacturers)

The total direct, indirect and induced employment contribution of the US off-highway equipment and ancillary products industry in 2016 totaled 1.3 million workers engaged in the design, production and sale of goods and services and includes the industry’s supporting supply chain and induced local employment. […]

Approximately 30% of US agricultural equipment production is intended for export, and nearly 30% of US production of construction equipment is also for export. Slow international growth combined with uncertainty about trading rules under the Trump administration could act as a drag on the equipment manufacturing industry’s overall performance.

Although the United States has enjoyed improving growth, much of the world will continue to experience economic challenges. Economic growth in the Eurozone is projected to slow from 1.7% in 2016 to 1.4% in 2017, reflecting increased political instability ­France, Germany, and the Netherlands‑ and banking problems in key countries ­Italy‑. Growth in the United Kingdom will slow as uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process leads to scaledback investment and employment plans. Meanwhile, China’s economic growth will slow further because of imbalances in credit and housing and excess capacity in its industrial sector. The good news is that recessions in Russia and Brazil will end in 2017, although there is little chance of strong recoveries.

Any steps the Trump administration might take to revisit or exit existing trade agreements could further complicate the challenging economic environment outside the United States. It is difficult to precisely forecast how the Trump administration might rewrite existing trading rules, but any steps that make it more difficult for manufacturers to export their products could hinder growth in the industry. Click here to read the report.