Sydney — As the world’s largest economies stumble toward an all-out trade war, President Donald Trump is tweeting in all-caps, but carrying a small stick. After White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn announced on Tuesday he was resigning, the Trump administration is considering tariffs on a range of Chinese imports from shoes and clothing, to consumer electronics, people familiar with the matter told Andrew Mayeda and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News. China "will take necessary measures" if its interests are harmed, foreign vice-minister Zhang Yesui has said. Which side has the divisions best-arrayed to bring victory in this conflict? One lesson from real warfare is that battles tend to be won and lost on the home front — and in that respect, the US is labouring under a significant handicap. Its major imports from China are overwhelmingly consumer goods, where the predictable effect of tariffs will be to increase costs to American citizens, as Gadfly’s Tim Culpan points out. ...

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