By Invitation

How important is America to global trade?

Size matters in light of Trump's tariff wars and the likely damage may be less than feared. But the loss of US leadership will not be measurable by numbers alone.

America is simply no longer that important.

To be sure, this year has seen US President Donald Trump's trade tantrums rattle the world. In the wake of Mr Trump's tariffs on US$50 billion (S$68.7 billion) of China trade, China's machinery manufacturers and semiconductor factories have suffered, and America's automakers and soya bean producers have bled jobs and income.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2018, with the headline 'How important is America to global trade?'. Print Edition | Subscribe