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Much more relevant now is any potential illnesses from a bout of inward-looking U.S. policy, namely imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports while keeping natural trading allies in limbo on whether or not it applies to them.
So far, nobody has a clear diagnosis but financial markets have smelled a whiff of change in recent weeks. Conventional wisdom, simple maths and plenty of recent evidence shows reduced global trade leads to reduced economic activity.
That suggests the United States, even though its share of the world’s economic output shrinks as emerging markets keep expanding more quickly, could give the world economy a lot more than a cold, depending on how far the White House wants to push it.
After an extended period of ceding ground to most currencies, the U.S. dollar has surged in recent weeks as it became increasingly apparent to traders and investors that in more ways than one, the U.S. appears to be going it alone.
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