August, which is supposed to be a somnolent month, has erupted in 2019 in a blaze of threats and tariff escalations. At times, President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has seemed like it was spinning out of control. A pivotal moment occurred August 23 when China announced details of its long-anticipated retaliation to Trump’s newest tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports. Trump’s immediate response was for yet another round of his own tariffs and a bizarre directive to US companies to pull out of China.
Chad P. Bown (PIIE)