In today’s trade policy environment, it seems as if there is a new business risk every day. One day, it is sanctions on Chinese entities for doing business in North Korea; the next day, it is the activities of Russian oligarchs. Then companies are hit with four waves of increased import duties on steel, aluminum, and most raw materials and finished products from China. Even if firms are not importing on their own, US manufacturers are receiving “the letter” stating that they must pay additional fees on parts and other inputs. Sometimes the affected products simply involve imported packaging or aluminum can made in America from imported raw material. With so much change and uncertainty, how do investors identify and evaluate these and other trade-related risks that may impact their portfolio companies?
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