The Dire, Unintended Consequences of Trump’s MAGA War on China

“Here is a story that should seem familiar. A great power, unsurpassed in military might and technological prowess, exports its free-trade economic model throughout the globe. Borders collapse, distance shrinks and the world seems smaller. But [then] another power rises — one whose dominance is built on a system of economic nationalism and [a state-directed] industrial policy. As [the latter] flourishes, the first stagnates, sparking a conflict that leads not only to war, but to a decade-long decline in global trade and financial assets. I’m referring of course, to the last wave of globalisation involving Great Britain and Germany, which eventually died with the first world war and the Great Depression. It was a boom that lasted nearly eight decades, during which global trade and financial openness nearly doubled. Yet as the Bank for International Settlements put it in their 2017 annual report, “the collapse of the first wave was as remarkable as its build-up”, resulting in “an almost complete unwinding” of cross-border trade and financial flows.”

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