MILAN – The global economy is undergoing a far-reaching transformation. Change is being driven by shifts in countries’ populations, productivity, wealth, power and ambitions, and accelerated by U.S. President Donald Trump’s moves to reshape supply chain structures, alter cross-border investment incentives and limit the movement of people and technology across borders.
The tensions that these changes are producing are most apparent in escalating disputes over trade. Notwithstanding some dislocations in emerging economies, markets’ reaction to the tit-for-tat tariffs so far has been only muted. Investors probably assume that it is all just part of a renegotiation process that will ultimately produce new rules of engagement for global business — rules that are even more favorable to the powerful.