President Trump’s decision Thursday to impose crippling tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminum took many by surprise — particularly investors, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day’s trading down more than 400 points, or 1.7 percent, at 24,608.
But one billionaire investor and former Trump adviser, Carl Icahn, was seemingly unvexed, having dumped a million shares tied to the steel industry a week before the president announced 25 percent tariffs for foreign-made steel.
A Feb. 22 SEC filing shows Icahn sold off his $31.3 million stake in the Manitowoc Company, which is a leading global manufacturer of cranes for heavy construction based in Manitowoc, Wis., according to the company’s website. Since Trump’s announcement Thursday, Manitowoc’s stock has plummeted to about $26. Icahn — who has had majority interest in several companies including Motorola, Xerox, Family Dollar and Pep Boys — had sold his shares for about $32 to $34 each, according to the SEC disclosure, which was first reported by Think Progress.
Icahn had not actively traded any Manitowoc stock since January 2015, according to regulatory filings.
The tariffs are Trump’s response to a determination by the Commerce Department earlier this month that increasing import volumes posed a risk to U.S. national security. Trump’s decision, which leans on a little-used provision of U.S. trade law, has now caused other countries to retaliate against American exports. The European Union, for example, is considering duties on U.S. imports worth about $3.5 billion if the White House enacts its tariffs, Reuters reported Friday.
I’m sure the newly populist SEC will pursue this case vigorously!