Lester, 9/10/12 (Simon a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, “A New Kind of Trade War” , http://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/11178-a-new-kind-of-trade-war) In the past, a “trade war” was something to be avoided at all costs. It meant a spiral of protectionist measures: one country would adopt some form of protectionism, and its trading partners would respond in kind. The impact on the global economy could be disastrous.
Today, by contrast, trade conflict often involves a tit-for-tat litigationprocess in which countries challenge each other’s trade barriers before the World Trade Organization. The result can actually be beneficial, as successful complaints usually lead to the removal of trade restrictions. As a result, the “trade wars” of today may lead to less protectionism rather than more.