Africa nervously eyes Trump’s trade war

After a phony war stretching to the earliest days of his presidency, Donald Trump fired off the loudest salvo yet in his trade battle with China in July.

Threatening to impose 10% tariffs on over $500bn of Chinese imports – from baseball gloves to badger hair, frogs’ legs to toilet paper – Trump reiterated his intention to dramatically narrow the United States’ trade deficit with its greatest economic rival. While Trump was cheered on by his base and protectionist forces in Washington DC, the verdict of the international economic community was scathing.

In a bracing statement, the IMF warned that a trade war could shave 0.5% off global growth by 2020, amounting to some $430bn in lost economic activity. EU leaders lined up to criticise their ally’s swing towards…

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