Mark Barnes Columnist

Choose your weapons! There’s a trade war coming. Like most wars, it’ll prove to have been senseless once the calm of natural force regains equilibrium and we reflect on the waste and the damage. Is it not a zero-sum game? US President Donald Trump is leading the charge. To be fair, he won the election on the unquestionably protectionist economic policy of "putting America first". Is he going to end up "putting America alone", the way he’s going about losing friends and annoying people? The World Series aside, is the US still relatively strong enough to be alone? Not only has the balance of economic power and influence shifted over the past couple of decades, but the weapons of trade wars have also changed. Trade war is no longer simply arithmetic. It’s not just tariffs and countertariffs, tenuous trade agreements and sanctions and signatures. We’ve moved on to a far grander scale.North Korea’s GDP couldn’t be noticeably mapped on the same graph as that of California, let alone that ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.