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How to Play Trump’s Rollercoaster Ride of Trade-War Threats

Posted January 31, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Joanna Ossinger & Andrew Mayeda – Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump says the U.S. will never “surrender” in its economic rivalry with other nations. That’s keeping analysts on alert for signs of a trade war.

In his first State of the Union, Trump promised to “fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.” He refrained from naming specific nations or pacts, including the North American Free Trade Agreement that the U.S. is renegotiating with Mexico and Canada. But only last week, the president slapped tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, and the White House hinted Tuesday that it still may punish China for allegedly flouting U.S. intellectual property.

Trump’s less hawkish tone in the State of the Union is the latest shift in the president’s rhetoric on trade, which has veered between apocalyptic and reassuring. In an interview last week, the president said, “I may terminate NAFTA. I may not.” He earlier told farmers his team is working hard to get a better deal.

Amid the uncertainty, a slew of analysts have said the risk of a trade war is elevated and recommend preparing now. Click here to read more.