We’ve been over this recurrently the last 6-months, but it’s become increasingly conspicuous and probably worth repeating.
Trade policy certainly matters, but it remains primarily an amplifier to an underlying growth cycle which, in the present case, had already inflected negatively. Trump’s proclivity for negotiating in questionable faith and reneging on previously agreed upon terms imperils future negotiations as those party to potential agreements have no conviction that the negotiated terms will prove any version of fixed – a factor that only adds incendiary kindling to the uncertainty fire.
That same dynamic also pervades confidence and capex decisions.
If you have no conviction that current policy/laws/costs are going to prove durable and may, in fact, undergo multiple wholesale changes, why would you commit capital? … particularly when growth is slowing, comps are as hard as they get and margins are already under pressure.