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Former Fed Governor Warns Of “Several Decade Cold War” With China

Former Fed governor Kevin Warsh warned on Thursday that the US-China relationship is “probably as poor as” it has ever been since former President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger developed strategic relations between both countries in the early 1970s.

“We’re at the risk of a real cold war” between the world’s two largest economies, said Warsh who had been on President Trump’s list for Fed chairman before Jerome Powell was chosen. “The last 30 years we’ve been living and breathing globalization as if it’s an inevitable force,” but now, it seems the six-decade-long bubble has finally popped.

Bank of Americas says trade wars and deteriorating relations with China have been some of the reasons for the decline in globalism. Especially, US tariff duties collected, % of total imports have surged under the Trump administration.

“Protectionism has cross-party support in the US, and nationalist parties continue to gain in Europe. Further action on China ($200bn), autos ($350bn), NAFTA ($690bn) could raise US tariff revenue as % total imports to levels not seen since 1946,” said BofA.

During the CNBC interview, Wash used the term “cold war” to describe the economic standoff, not the decades-long “mutually assured destruction” nuclear stalemate with Russia.

“We are probably on the precipice of a brand new relationship with the Chinese,” Wash told CNBC.

He asked: “Could we be at the beginning of a 10- or 20-year cold war?” If so, an economic cold war between the countries could have major implications for the global economy like causing a global growth scare and repricing risk assets.

What is next? 

The return of a bipolar world: “Five or 10 years from now we might see two poles: a Chinese-centric world and an American-centric world. And the [other global] economies and countries will have to plug into one or both,” he said.

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