Why This China-US Trade War Could Last 20 Years Plus

I agree with him!

The richest man in China, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, reckons the trade war is the beginning of a long-term battle for supremacy between China and the US.

He’s sees no effective short-term solution to this big global issue.

China needs to strengthen its economy to fulfil its long-term shift to stronger domestic consumption while focusing on the real global growth markets in Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.

That’s what its huge ‘belt and road initiative’ and global investment program is all about.

Ma’s view is likely the same as the Chinese government.

If the US wants to play hardball here, they’ll just make that shift to focusing on those other markets harder and quicker, beating the US and Europe to them.

Currently, Trump has the near-term advantage. His September 17 hike to tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods — 10% on 24 September moving to 25% on 1 January, 2019 — is 3.3 times China’s retaliation of tariffs on $60 billion of US imports since 18 September.

But China’s top-down government has always had a long-term time horizon. That’s why they are being so stubborn.

And like I started by saying: I couldn’t agree more with Ma.

Here’s a prominent chart from my recent Zero Hour book with Andrew Pancholi of the Market Timing Report…

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This chart shows that the second great surge in globalization from 1949 to 2008 has already peaked and will see a multi-decade regression similar to the one between the First World War and the Second World War.

The Second Surge in Globalization Has Peaked 20-09-18

Source: Estavadeordak & Dent Research

[Click to enlarge]

The first wave peaked in 1912, just before the First World War.

The biggest crash in global trade came during that war because the modern world that dominated GDP was fighting…and warring nations not only don’t trade with each other, but they’re too busy producing war goods to export much.

That was a HUGE boon to the emerging US. We exported heavily to the allies even after joining the war later.

Then in the Great Depression, countries reacted like today. With a shrinking pie, they became increasingly protectionist. There was even a populist revolution back then, that Hitler and Mussolini led.

The tariff wars then just made the Great Depression worse. That was the second shock to global trade. The third shock in the Second World War was the mildest as global trade had already contracted over 60%.

The second and even steeper surge in global trade came after the Second World War  into around 2008. The decline since then has only been minor but the steepest crash in trade here is likely to come in the next global depression we forecast for 2020 to 2023–24.

Of course, there are likely to be repercussions for many years to follow as China takes the biggest fall from massive overexpansion and debt implosion…

Then the third surge should take us to full globalization, urbanization, and middle-class saturation by around 2145.

Three very projectable cycles converge and peak between 2140 and 2150:

  • Urbanisation at 90%.
  • The 500-year Mega Innovation Cycle.
  • And the 165-East/West Cycle with peak Asian dominance by then.

As much as demographic cycles of aging and falling births project increased slowing forever into a black hole…that is NOT going to happen as these other cycles are more dominant and would strongly suggest another revolution in our life expectancies in the decades ahead that would trump falling births!

But near term: don’t take a likely compromise in the US/China trade war as sustainable.

This is a bigger trend — and a necessary step on the way up to greater globalisation and prosperity.


Harry Dent,
Editor, Harry Dent Daily

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