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Opinion
Mark Gongloff

China Has a Nuclear Option in the Trade War

It could trigger mutually assured economic destruction, if cooler heads don't prevail.

Ready for war.

Ready for war.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac

You go to trade war with the trade weapons you have, not the trade weapons you might want or wish to have at a later time.

When Donald Rumsfeld said a variation on this back in 2004, he was telling American troops to stop complaining about going to Iraq with inadequate gear. Today the U.S. is blustering into a different kind of war, a trade war with China, and it’s not clear it has the right weapons for this one, either.