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Project Syndicate: Surprised by how little Trump’s trade war matters to the economy? Just you wait

BERKELEY, Calif. (Project Syndicate) — President Donald Trump’s phony, blowhard’s trade war just got real.

The steel and aluminum tariffs that the Trump administration imposed at the beginning of June were important mainly for their symbolic value, not for their real economic impact. While the tariffs signified that the United States was no longer playing by the rules of the world trading system, they targeted just $45 billion of imports, less than 0.25% of gross domestic product in an $20 trillion U.S. economy.

For those who observe that the economic and financial fallout from President Donald Trump’s trade war has been surprisingly small, the best response is that a lagged effect is exactly what we should expect.

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