The Atlantic

Why Donald Trump’s Trade War Will Fail

Despite the president’s assurances, trade wars are bad—and impossible to win.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Sometimes in soccer, an attempt to defend one’s turf results in a score for the opposing team—an “own goal.” There have already been nine such incidents of self-sabotage in the 2018 World Cup, by far the most in the history of the tournament. But you won’t find the most spectacular example of the summer on the pitch in Russia. That distinction goes to Donald, whose determination to start a trade war with China is, like the best own goals in soccer, muscular in its approach, blind in its aim, and self-injurious in its consequences.

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