President Donald Trump has stepped up his trade war with China, a move that some economists and market strategists fear could hurt jobs, raise prices and drag down stocks.
Despite that, strategists at UBS noted that none of the major Democratic candidates for president have expressed any significant reservations about Trump's trade policy. The topic was not a focus of either of the two debates that aired on CNN earlier this week.
The absence of a more robust discussion on trade—at least thus far—is revealing and attributable to the fact that most of the Democratic field is more or less aligned with the general thrust of the current administration’s trade policies," said analysts at UBS Global Wealth Management's Chief Investment Office in a report.
The UBS analysts argue that "the Democratic candidates are keenly aware of the mixed feelings that global trade generates in the American heartland and in particular among voters in pivotal Midwestern states."
In other words, UBS expects the field of Democratic contenders to criticize Trump's bombastic tweets and the way he communicates in general -- but not the tariffs per se.
We are inclined to believe that the challengers will continue to focus on the abrupt manner in which the president has imposed the tariffs, rather than the substance of the policy," the UBS strategists wrote.