Two weeks ago, Trump announced tariffs on another $200bn worth of imports from China. The announcement was met with protests from the Chinese, as well as big business in the US. China responded with tariffs on another $60bn of imports from the US. This trade war reveals the frictions that have been developing for some time between the imperialist powers, and threatens to plunge the world into a new recession.

While all eyes are on the unfolding trade war between China and the United States, another crisis in the world economy is threatening to spin out of control. Since April, Argentina and Turkey have seen their currencies collapse and inflation spiral. Other so-called emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa are also coming under similar pressures.

10 years ago, on 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers – one of the largest and oldest investment banks in the world – filed for bankruptcy after being engulfed by the subprime mortgage scandal.

On Thursday the deadline passed for an agreement between Trump and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the EU on trade. Failure to reach an agreement meant that the steel and aluminium tariffs threatened by Trump came into force. With this, Trump has begun the process of unravelling globalisation. On Saturday, the G-7 finance ministers met and the 6 non-US ministers came together against the US, expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment” over the US decision.

The serious representatives of capitalism are petrified that the ongoing trade dispute between China and America could erupt into a full-blown economic war. In a recent editorial for the Financial Times, associate editor Martin Wolf described US President Donald Trump’s latest plan to reduce the $337bn US-China trade imbalance by imposing $200bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods (over two years) as a “crazy” act of “fiscal irresponsibility”. But there is method in Trump’s madness. He is predictably applying his particular art of negotiation: threaten, bully and bluster – then strike a deal. However, Trump’s bellicose behaviour risks further destabilising an already-precarious global economy.

“The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that massive job losses driven by technology could resuscitate Marxism in the West,” announced the Daily Telegraph recently.

After placing hefty tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel and aluminium, Trump is now picking a fight with China. His latest proposals target $60bn worth of Chinese exports, and threaten a trade war between two of the largest economies in the world.

The last two months have seen renewed worries about the economy. It was meant to be a period of optimism, with plenty of positive figures on unemployment, wage growth and so on. Yet in spite of the figures, the markets are jittery and the bourgeois is gradually realising that none of the problems that caused the crisis in 2008 have been resolved. If anything, they have become even worse.

Earlier this month, Oxfam published the latest statistics on wealth inequality. They reveal that the slogan of “we are the 99 percent” really is true. The richest 1 percent globally own more than the rest of us put together. 42 billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population.

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