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Mutually assured destruction

Trade wars are, perhaps, the most serious threats to the global economic order. Because of that, they are also the least likely. So, while the current rumblings in Beijing and Washington may lead to increased frictions, even economically ignorant politicians will not do anything drastic. Both Germany and Japan tried in the 1930s to limit unemployment and political vulnerability by maximising domestic production and restricting imports. But, since World War II, economic activity has increasingly crossed political borders. The motivations for this integration were partly political — ...