JP Marin-Arrese │ Trump’s volatile mood is wreaking carnage on investors’ confidence. It is a fact that the White House tenant longs to trigger huge uncertainty, even panic, among investors. Yet, by brushing away any hope to strike a truce with China he has outdone himself. Trump seems determined to wage a far-reaching and lasting crusade rather than a trade conflict. Engaging in open warfare requires targeting precise goals and a reasonable likelihood of prevailing over your foe. Otherwise it becomes a dangerous gamble. That seems the choice Mr Trump has taken.
He is right in accusing China of extensive abuses in trade. His heavy-handed attempts to force it to abide with fair practices on the whole fully appear justified. But such an objective has fallen from his agenda. Instead, he seems determined to crush the opponent’s economy whatever the price his fellow citizens or the rest of the world might pay. One wonders whether he follows a convoluted plan or simply fails to have any strategy at all. As bewildering events unfold, the latter option looks more likely.
The most worrying concern is that this foolish strategy seems to pay-off in his challenge for seeking re-election in the forthcoming presidential poll. Many Americans appear to back his bullying style, while Democrats are only too happy to rubberstamp a hard-line stance. Opposing the trade war would lose them widespread support. They prefer to wait-and-see hoping the economic toll will provide them a good chance of dislodging Mr Trump from the White House. As usual, short-term tactics prevail over the country’s interests. US politicians act much in the same way as others.
Europe is poised to suffer should the current rift disrupt world trade and growth. Especially as it faces grim prospects in its own backyard: more political instability in Italy and a hard Brexit looming ahead. All countries should be ready for a bumpy ride in the coming months. Spain is no exception, and the sooner it undertakes its homework by delivering a stable and sensible government, the better. Time is running out.