The US government shutdown, which started on December 22, has entered its 34th day. The shutdown, the longest in history, has taken a toll on federal workers. Some of the federal workers are reportedly using food banks. In an interview with CNBC, Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross advised federal workers to take out loans. He also downplayed the shutdown’s impact on the US economy (SPY).
The US government has been shut down because President Trump and Democrats have different views about the border wall. Enhancing US national security was among President Trump’s key pre-election pledges. The Trump Administration has also imposed tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports, which are seen as threats to US national security. The Department of Commerce is also investigating whether automotive imports (F) (GM) are a threat to US national security.
On January 23, Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete, National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi, and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson issued a statement that said, “We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown.” The communique also adds, “Major airports are already seeing security checkpoint closures, with many more potentially to follow.”
While President Trump has frequently pointed to the crisis at the southern border, another national security crisis seems to be brewing due to the extended shutdown. US equity markets are trading sideways on January 24. Looking at the FAANG stocks (FB) (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) has lost 0.78%, while Amazon (AMZN) is trading almost flat as of 11:40 AM EST. Microsoft (MSFT) has lost 0.61%. However, NVIDIA (NVDA) has gained more than 5%.
Read Is the Border Wall Saga President Trump’s Masterstroke to learn more about the wall.