President Donald Trump's propaganda machine is going into overdrive promising a great deal in the forthcoming new trade talks with China later in October but America's business leaders are having none of it.
Not one of the chief financial officers (CFOs) in U.S. firms that responded to the quarterly CNBC Global CFO Council survey released Friday said Trump's trade policy is positive for their business.
Six in10 CFOs (65 percent) of U.S. CFOs think U.S. trade policy will be negative for their businesses over the next six months despite the trade talks.
The survey also showed that 35 percent of CFOs cited U.S. trade policy as the "biggest external risk factor" facing their business. This percentage is more than double the second biggest risk, which is sagging "consumer demand." This fear about Trump's trade war is up from 22 percent in the second quarter.
Five in 10 North American CFOs surveyed said they face higher input costs. One in four said they've increased prices to offset rising costs due to Trump's trade war.
CFOs also downgraded to "stable" from "improving," their outlook on the U.S. economy. Some analysts predict this stability won't survive if no deal, or any deal, is reached during the talks in October.
"With this level of uncertainty between the U.S. and China, I would think 'stable' might actually be a win a couple of quarters from now," said Jack McCullough, president and founder of the CFO Leadership Council. Established in 2006, the council is an executive networking group that includes 27 chapters and nearly 2,000 members, of which 1,100 are CFOs.
"I cannot recall when CFOs were as jittery about a change in policy as they are today."
He also said there has never been a question he can recall about government policy that has dominated discussion as much as Trump's trade war.
"It is top of mind, and they are not confident they will emerge from this unscathed," he said.
The CNBC Global CFO Council represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world, collectively managing more than $5 trillion in market value across a wide variety of sectors. The Q3 2019 survey was conducted between Aug. 21 and Sept. 3 among 62 global members of the council.
The CNBC Global CFO Council includes some of the largest public and private companies in the U.S. and the world. The firms in this survey hold more than $5 trillion in market value across a broad range of sectors.
The Q3 survey was conducted between Aug. 21 and Sept. 3 among 62 global members of the CNBC Global CFO Council.