US trade policy has become the top concern among chief financial officers, according to a CNBC quarterly survey. Roughly two-thirds of North American and Asia-Pacific CFOs say US trade policy will have a negative impact on their company over the next six months. Seven of the 16 biggest declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year have been sparked by trade concerns. As the United States teeters on the brink of a tit-for-tat trade war with China and a growing number of allies, President Donald Trump’s insistent push for policy changes is causing a full-swing rattle in global markets and among business leaders. Seven of the 16 biggest Dow declines this year appear to have been sparked by trade concerns, according to CNBC data. There have been 35 moves of 1 percent or more in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, 12 of which CNBC found were entirely or substantially related to trade-related news. Although the blue-chip index snapped an 8-day losing streak on Friday, the roller-coaster ride in global markets has shaved $700 billion in market cap off the index. Trade uncertainty has risen to be the biggest risk for corporations, according to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council quarterly survey. To that point, 35 percent of global CFOs say US trade policy is the biggest external risk their company faces, up from 27 percent in Q1 and tripling from the 11.6 percent who cited trade policy in the fourth quarter of 2017. It is going to be a tough six months Amid strong gross domestic product and job growth and profit-friendly corporate tax cuts, nearly 65 percent of North American CFO respondents said US trade policy is likely to negatively impact their firms over the next six months; 20 percent of CFOs indicated the impact would be “very negative.” Sixty-six percent of Asia-Pacific region CFOs expect a negative impact on their firms. “What is interesting is business leaders as well as investors don’t like uncertainty, and I think we are being exposed to an abnormal amount of sausage-making in the process,” said MongoDB CFO and CNBC Global CFO Council member Michael Gordon on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange earlier this week. Still, 60 percent of North American CFOs say the full benefits of the Trump tax cuts remain, regardless of the trade risks. Forty percent say that uncertainty around trade is hurting their firm’s ability to take full advantage of tax reform. And despite the trade uncertainty, the CFO Council’s global economic outlook remains rosy. Not one global region was seen as worse than “stable” for the sixth straight quarter. The United States was seen as “improving” for the eighth straight quarter. Published in Daily Times, June 25th 2018.