New York — America’s corporate bosses could be excused if they don’t agree with President Donald Trump’s boasts that a trade war is “easy to win”. They can just reflect on the levers of pain China pulled against South Korean-owned businesses last year to imagine a state-nudged boycott against Starbucks or shutdown of Nike’s factories. China vows to retaliate against all US tariffs and announced $60bn worth of American goods it plans to slap tariffs on if Trump’s administration follows through with a proposal to impose duties on another $200bn in Chinese imports. Since that’s more than the value of all US exports to China, the Asian nation will need more than tit-for-tat tariffs to punch back. If China employs a similar strategy to the one used when its neighbour installed a missile defence system — shuttering stores and factories owned by South Korean companies and stoking boycotts — a slew of US brands could pay dearly. China is both an essential supplier and also the biggest growt...

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