Trump's a lonely trade warrior but he's not alone

Threatening tariffs on imports from China, US President Donald Trump has provoked swift vows of retaliation from Beijing, shaken financial markets, and generated great uncertainty and confusion.

Long before China started to run huge trade surpluses against the United States, he ranted against American trade partners. Other countries, he claimed in 1999, "can't believe how easy it is to deal with the US. We are known as a bunch of saps".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2018, with the headline 'Trump's a lonely trade warrior but he's not alone'. Print Edition | Subscribe