Former Trump adviser Icahn denies knowing about new tariffs before stock sell-off

Former Trump adviser Icahn denies knowing about new tariffs before stock sell-off
© Getty Images

Former Trump adviser Carl IcahnCarl Celian IcahnIcahn warns against Cigna-Express Scripts merger Pruitt’s renewable fuel attacks cost him GOP support in Congress Overnight Energy: Lawyer who coined 'lock her up' to get EPA post | Refinery owned by ex-Trump adviser gets biofuels waiver | Lawmakers press Pruitt on emissions standards MORE said Wednesday that he did not know in advance that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE would be announcing new tariffs of steel and aluminum before he sold off millions of dollars worth of stocks that will be negatively affected by the tariffs

"We don't generally comment on rumors, but the recent media speculation regarding our sale of Manitowoc stock calls for a response. We state for the record: Any suggestion that we had prior knowledge of the Trump administration's announcement of new tariffs on steel imports is categorically untrue. We reduced our position in Manitowoc for legitimate investment reasons having nothing to do with that announcement," Icahn said in a statement obtained by CNBC.

One week before Trump announced the tariffs, Icahn sold $31.3 million worth of stock in the Manitowoc Co., a manufacturer of construction cranes. Companies that manufacture steel products are expected to be negatively affected by the tariffs, which will drive up steel prices.

After Trump’s announcement, Manitowoc’s stock fell to $26. Icahn sold nearly 940,00 Manitowoc shares at about $32 to $34 each, even though he hadn’t been actively trading in the company’s stock for three years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump announced last Thursday that he would be implementing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

Trump’s tariff announcement has been heavily criticized, even by members of his own party and administration.

The president’s economic adviser Gary Cohn, a supporter of free trade, said he would be leave the administration on Tuesday.

The announcement also sparked concerns that the tariffs could ignite a trade war as other nations take retaliatory measures on the U.S.

The actual tariffs have yet to be released but its expected the president could sign the tariffs into effect sometime this week.

Icahn resigned as special adviser on regulation to the president in August.