EU plans to cut steel import quotas

19/08/2020

As countries around the world face the possibility of escalating tariffs, history serves as a reminder that trade wars are nothing new.

Harold James is a professor at Princeton University and an official historian of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In an interview at the IMF in Washington, he recalled the lessons learned, and perhaps forgotten, by the international community in recent trade wars.

As countries around the world face the possibility of escalating tariffs, history serves as a reminder that trade wars are nothing new.

Harold James is a professor at Princeton University and an official historian of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In an interview at the IMF in Washington, he recalled the lessons learned, and perhaps forgotten, by the international community in recent trade wars.

 

By imposing tariffs on products like Japanese autos, James said the U.S. created leverage to negotiate new trade agreements. He said the key difference between this dispute and the 1930s trade war was that agreements were forged before a trade “spat” became an “all-out war.”

“Once you allow this whole accumulation of individual tariffs you get into such a messy situation… it’s really impossible to get an agreement.”

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