Monday 17 December 2018
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Trump weaponizes uncertainty in trade war

President Donald Trump has used tariffs as one of his most powerful tools for fighting his trade wars, but he’s also wielding leverage with another weapon: uncertainty. Through his trade threats and the doubts he has raised about the future of even America’s longest-term economic relationships, Trump has created what could easily be called an uncertainty economy. And it is one that has baffled leading economists. “I can’t think of when we’ve seen this approach before,” Maurice Obstfeld, the International Monetary Fund’s outgoing chief economist, said in an interview. The dominant view has long been that doubt is bad for growth, impedes investment and unnerves financial markets, Obstfeld...

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