16.07.2018–Stupid is as stupid does (Forrest Gump)
Some Wall Street commentators have already declared that the US has won the trade war because the US stock market has gone up and the Chinese market has gone down. It is still a skirmish and no one can predict the outcome of a war after the first shot has been fired. Of course, there may be an element of patriotism here but I would remind people it was Voltaire who once mused that "It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind."
Of course, one could simply conclude that because China does not export USD200bn of goods to the US victory is assured. Once again this fails to take into account subtle nuances like holding up approvals for US companies to do business in China or discouraging Chinese inward tourism in to the US.
At the moment we are effectively playing a game of chicken with both the strong men of the US and China unwilling to back down. The cars are heading closer towards one another but a head on collision is not imminent. There is still plenty of scope to find a face saving compromise that both can take back to their countries with the usual declaration of victory. Assuming stupidity, stubbornness and grandstanding does not get in the way.