Trump’s trade threats are really Cold War 2.0
Trump’s trade tantrum is that other countries are simply following the same economic strategy that once made America great, but which neoliberals have destroyed. U.S. negotiators are unwilling to acknowledge that the United States has lost its competitive industrial advantage and become a high-cost rentier economy.
The most destructive fiction of international finance is that all debts can be paid, and indeed should be paid, even when this tears economies apart by forcing them into austerity. Yet European countries, and especially Germany, have shied from pressing for a more balanced global economy that would foster growth for all countries and avoid the current economic slowdown and debt deflation.