Winner and Losers in a Trade War

Mar 12 22:03 2018 Print This Article

The prospects of a trade war have increased.  The second year of the Trump Administration has begun with a serious provocation.  Duties and quotas on washing machines and solar panels were consistent with the defenses against dumping and unfair subsidies of previous administrations.  

However, the tariffs slapped on aluminum and steel were exceptional.  The justification was national security, a rarely used defense.  Moreover, in the coming months, the US is expected to take stronger actions against China for violating intellectual property rights. 

Nearly every modern US president has put on tariffs.  In the recent past, for example, Obama imposed tariffs on vehicle tires and dozens of anti-dumping measures against China.  George W. Bush levied a larger tariff on steel that Trump.  Fears of a trade war were limited.  Europe made some symbolic gestures, but ultimately, the prospects of losing at the World Trade Organization induced the US to drop the steel tariff. 

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About Article Author

Marc to Market

Marc Chandler has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for more than 25 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. Chandler attended North Central College for undergraduate work, where he majored in political science and the humanities. He holds master's degrees from Northern Illinois University and University of Pittsburgh in American History and International Political Economy. Currently Chandler teaches at New York University Center for Global Affairs, where he is an associate professor. A prolific writer and speaker he appears regularly in the press and has spoken for, and is an honorary fellow of, the Foreign Policy Association. In addition to being quoted in the financial press daily, Chandler has been published in the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post. In 2009, Chandler was named a Business Visionary by Forbes. In 2009, his book, Making Sense of the Dollar, was published by Bloomberg Press and received a Bronze Award from Independent Publishers.

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