Tough talk on tariffs, but little risk of trade war

Charles Hugh Smith

The tiff over tariffs on Chinese tires has sparked a tug-of-war among pundits: Some are rushing to reassure us that China and the U.S. wouldn't be foolish enough to let this little spat blow up into something nasty, while others are labeling this the opening shot of a long-brewing trade war.

Predictably, a smattering of voices on both sides of the Pacific are reacting with passion. But without wading too deeply into the murky political and economic waters this trade kerfuffle has churned up, we might profitably consider this old proverb: Be careful what you wish for.