Not a trade war, but Trump's style

The intensity of the so-called trade war between the United States and China lowers as both countries soften their stands. President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader in recent history, is now ready to open up a new chapter in liberalisation. China may lower tariffs on car imports from the United States as well, in response to President Donald Trump's "car tweet". In fact, it is imperative to comprehend that war affects citizens, and trade war affects consumers; the distinction, however, is domestically bleak, but globally significant.

Nevertheless, a trade war is not an economic issue. It's a geopolitical instrument depicting unique state behaviour. Such behaviour can be a good mix of diplomacy and aggressive posturing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2018, with the headline 'Not a trade war, but Trump's style'. Print Edition | Subscribe