Cohn resignation re-ignites trade war fears

Donald Trump

Trade war fears escalated yesterday after Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned.

EU officials are expected to respond to Mr Trump’s threats to impose higher tariffs on imports, including steel. It would see the European bloc raise taxes on a range of US products such as jeans and motorcycles.

Mr Trump is not without his supporters as frustrations have grown over alleged ‘dumping’ of foreign goods in the US.

However, there has been worldwide condemnation of his move with business leaders, including FIAT’s CEO calling for a more ‘balanced’ approach to international trade.

Mr Cohn’s departure was badly received the markets who regarded him as a free trade supporter and Wall Street is expected to open lower today.

There are fears that the Trump administration will push ahead with a full-scale economic confrontation with China.

America’s trade deficit with China hit $375.2 billion in 2017, equivalent to two-thirds of the country’s total trade deficit of $566b. Mr Trump has said he will remedy what he terms the jobs- and industry-destroying deficit.

In the UK, the Prime Minister is preparing to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who begins a trip to London.

It will involve discussions about the planned listing of the giant Saudi oil company Aramco an the London Stock Exchange has been hoping that it will choose London.

However, markets believe it is more likely to choose New York.

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