The New York Times

Is Trump About to Start a Trade War?

SALZGITTER, GERMANY - MARCH 01: An employee works in front of the blast furnace past rolls of sheet steel at a mill of German steel producer Salzgitter AG on March 1, 2018 in Salzgitter, Germany. Salzgitter, one of Europe's biggest steel makers, recorded better-than-expected profits in preliminary results for 2017. The company will hold its annual press conference on March 16. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

PROBABLY NOT, BECAUSE HIS TARIFFS ARE NARROWLY DRAWN. BUT PROTECTIONIST PRESSURES ARE INTENSIFYING AND COULD BECOME DANGEROUS IN A WEAKER ECONOMY.

The announcement that President Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn, plans to resign after apparently losing a battle over raising tariffs ratchets up concern that the White House is turning sharply toward protectionism. The deepest fear is that the planned steel and aluminum tariffs will echo the mistake of the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariffs of 1930, which provoked a global trade war and helped fuel the Great Depression.

The alarmists are getting a bit ahead of the story, however. Periods of deglobalization — when nations begin shuttering their borders to flows of trade, money

This article originally appeared in .

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