The Trump administration announced it would offer aid to farmers in U.S. agricultural sectors that were hit hardest by the recently installed tariffs between the U.S., China, and other countries. According to The Wall Street Journal, the $12 billion aid package would be distributed to support prices of commodities such as soybeans, which experienced a price drop to near-decade lows amid the trade spats with China. The following chart from Bloomberg displays the price of soybean futures since last year. The announcement of Chinese countertariffs on American commodities in May sparked a sharp decline in prices for soybeans. The most recent increase in value was a result of the aid package being announced.
Other goods such as sorghum, cotton, corn, wheat, and pork will also be subsidized. The Chinese population is increasingly hungry for meat and has been purchasing it in large quantities from American farmers in recent years. China’s 62% countertariff on pork has made it difficult for American pork farmers to manage.
The policy, or bailout as some are calling it, is designed to provide a solution, or at least a cushion, for farmers in the short term, effectively buying the Trump administration time to work on longer-term trade deals that might be more fair or advantageous to the United States in the long run. A key concern of some legislators about the plan is that there is no well-defined endgame. Aid may have to be extended to other sectors as well, sparking a much broader—and more expensive—package to support the Trump administration’s brinkmanship trade policy.
The aid package is a sign that more tariffs and trade battles are to come. The administration, in offering aid to farmers, signals an intention to continue the current protectionist policy on trade and implies more tariffs can be expected, potentially on a much larger scale. While good for domestic farmers, the package is also a signal to investors that geopolitical risk caused by trade battles will not subside anytime soon. Either way, the administration has its work cut out for it as it grapples with struggling U.S. companies amid the fight for favorable long-term trade deals.
Sectors: Among the Sector Benchmark ETFs, the average momentum score decreased from 15.46 to 13.09. Most sector scores fell for the week. Financials increased the most, up 10. Real Estate fell the most, down 9. Technology is the leading sector at 26, followed by Health Care at 23 and Discretionary at 20. Defensive and sensitive sectors were down. Industrials and Materials continue to reside at the bottom of the rankings. Ten sectors are “in the green.”
Factors: Among the Factor Benchmark ETFs, the average factor score decreased from 13.82 to 12.91. The scores were mainly down for the week. Growth fell the most, down by 7. Dividend Growth increased the most, up by 1. Yield and Value continue to live at the bottom of the ranks with scores of 7 and 3, respectively. All 11 factors are “in the green.”
Global: Global Benchmark ETF momentum scores were slightly up for the week. The average score by country increased from -5.18 to -1.82. The top positions continue to be dominated by developed global areas, including USA and Canada. Global areas had mainly positive results. Canada fell the most, down by 4 points. Latin America increased the most, up by 16 points. Japan, Emerging Markets, and China are at the bottom of the ranks. Four of the 11 global areas are “in the green.”