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Trade war

Trade war opens commodity floodgates

Tariffs and China slowdown combine to shrink demand

Growth in Chinese demand for steel is flagging as consumers buy fewer cars and appliances.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The U.S.-China trade war is adding to excess supply for products from steel to soybeans, with export-discouraging tariffs in the U.S. and weakened equipment investment in China causing stockpiles to build up and prices to deflate.

If Washington and Beijing fail to break their trade deadlock by the March 1 deadline, a new wave of tariffs will automatically kick in, heightening the risk to the global economy in a parallel to how protectionist policies drove down prices in the 1930s and exacerbated the Great Depression.

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