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Carl Icahn unloaded millions in steel-related stock days before Trump tariff

Dow falls after tariff announcement
Dow falls after Trump announces new tariffs 03:26

As the saying goes, timing is everything.

Investor and former regulatory advisor Carl Icahn dumped $31.1 million of stock in a Wisconsin company that relies heavily on steel to make its products last week, days before President Donald Trump said he'd impose stiff tariffs on steel imports.

The disclosure in a regulatory filing, first reported by ThinkProgress, shows Icahn systematically sold off almost 1 million shares of Manitowoc Company (MTW), which makes cranes and other equipment. 

The billionaire investor and longtime confidant of Mr. Trump started selling the stock on Feb. 12, according to the filing dated Feb. 22. Icahn began selling before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross released a report Feb. 16 that called for a 24 percent tariff

Mr. Trump's announcement seven days later that he would inflict a 25 percent tariff on steel imports has sideswiped the market, steel-tied stocks in particular. Manitowoc stock has since lost 12 percent of its value. 

Icahn had not actively traded Manitowoc stock up until February, noted ThinkProgress, which said he had not purchased or sold any shares of the company between January 17, 2015 and February 11, 2018. Icahn resigned from his post as a "special adviser" to the president in August, ahead of a New Yorker article describing how he used his White House position to shield his investments, from which he had not detached himself before taking the job. 

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