How the U.S.-led Trade Wars Imperil the Global Economy


Adjunct Professor Matt Gold was quoted in a Knowledge@Wharton article where he discussed trade policy under the Trump administration.

“This is definitely a trade war,” said Matt Gold, adjunct law professor at Fordham University and a former deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America. He broke that down to “two or three separate trade wars” and said “none of it is good for trade.” The first is with China for the past 15 years over protection of U.S. intellectual property rights. The second one is over steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the EU and China. The third is over tariffs on imports of automobiles and auto parts between the U.S. and other countries, where the Trump administration wants to renegotiate agreements struck by previous U.S. administrations. Gold said the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports violated WTO rules, triggering the retaliatory action from the other countries.

The actions on imports of solar panels and washing machines were “safeguard tariffs” that were legitimate, he added, but he agreed that the Trump administration went about those in an aggressive manner. Lovely noted that “it was emblematic of the approach that the Trump administration takes, which is largely one of giving our trade partners really no room for political maneuver — sort of a take-it-or-leave-it approach.”

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