Robert Zoellick, a former US Trade Representative and head of the World Bank, once said: "Trade was more about politics than economics". Indeed, international trade among nations is all about business, but once politicians step in, it becomes polarizing with unexpected consequences that could lead to a trade war.
The ever-boastful US President Donald Trump tweeted that "trade wars are good, and easy to win". His newly appointed top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, should remind him that trade wars are a pyrrhic form of competition in which even the victor is left worse off.
Trump's campaign rhetoric and recent actions are contrary to the United States Constitution and the Republican Party's free trade doctrine, shaped by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.