Is the U.S. / China Trade Tussle Deflationary?

There are far fewer deflationists versus inflationists.

Well-known economist Gary Shilling is one of those relatively few deflationists. You may know him from media interviews over the years or read his columns in Forbes magazine and other publications.

He is president of A. Gary Shilling & Company, a firm that analyzes and forecasts economic and financial developments in the U.S. and overseas.

Shilling is also a featured deflationist on

Here's a brief excerpt from a May 28 Bloomberg article he authored titled "What If the Trade War Is Really Deflationary?":

The trade war between the U.S and China shows no signs of abating, with each side boosting tariff levels. From the U.S. perspective, such tariffs might appear inflationary, as the levies are added to the costs of imports and passed on to their ultimate users. A 25% jump in the cost of all $575 billion in goods imported from China, even without markups and follow-on increases from competing U.S. producers, would add about 1% to consumer prices.

In reality, however, import tariffs and the whole trade war are more likely to be deflationary as governments, businesses and consumers here and abroad take offsetting actions and the conflict takes its toll on global economic growth. News reports say U.S. importers are switching to suppliers in more-certain countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan and Taiwan. This is costly and disruptive, but has been underway ever since Trump's 2016 election victory.

If you're a Bloomberg subscriber, you can read the entire column here:

The October 2018 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast also discussed U.S. / China trade:

There are many gathering storm clouds.... A typical example is the enactment of protectionist trade policies by the United States, which The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast said around this time last year was "no ordinary trade war." "Not since the great depression of the 1930s have trade wars erupted with the intensity that they have today," observed the president of Indonesia. That was before the U.S. slapped another 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese products.

Is the world headed for another deflationary period like the early 1930s?

Get important insights in the free report, "What You Need to Know Now About Protecting Yourself from Deflation."

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