In his election campaign US President Donald Trump promised to put "America First". After a slow start his administration has finally embarked on a number of measures designed to do this. Mixing national security and accusations of unfair trade practices, he has initiated three broad measures to protect US industry: tariffs on washing machines and solar panels, tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and targeted measures on $50bn worth of Chinese exports. The irony of Trump’s trade war is that even if it is justified based on economics, which is highly questionable, it’s unlikely to benefit the US. The most likely effect of a trade war is higher inflation, which will push up interest rates and weigh on global and US consumers. Rather than a brave new world of US manufacturing, a trade war will tax US consumers and result in fewer, rather than more, jobs being created. Which raises the question: is the threat of a global trade war as a direct result of Trump’s protectionist measures ...

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