How Trade Wars Work

Illustration for article titled How Trade Wars Work

In response to President Trump imposing tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, China implemented reciprocal tariffs on over 100 American-made goods, igniting fears of a trade war. The Onion provides a step-by-step guide of how trade wars begin, escalate, and affect economies.

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STEP 1: Nation develops worldview centered on own unquestionable supremacy.


STEP 2: Some country’s leader isn’t given enough love in his youth and grows up mean, selfish, and in a constant search for adoration to fill the emptiness within him.


STEP 3: Devastating long-term financial repercussions weighed against benefits of a short-term political win.


STEP 4: Trade war formally declared when one nation sinks another’s shipping container.

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STEP 5: Stock market reacts poorly, then positively, then poorly again, then however the hell it feels like reacting.

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STEP 6: Nation’s consumers grapple with idea of buying products made by their incompetent fellow citizens.

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STEP 7: Organized criminals begin illegally bootlegging soybeans into China.


STEP 8: Truce declared after one nation makes peace offering of one free bar of steel.

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STEP 9: Trade war eventually settles down, and any resulting profits are absorbed into salaries of high-level executives.

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STEP 10: You pay more for shittier things.

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