The chief economic advisor of Allianz – one of the largest financial services companies – has told CNBC that President Trump’s trade war could mark a “Reaganesque” shift in the global economic order, also remarking that in relative terms, America wins as a result of Trump’s hawkishness on China.
The comments by Mohamed El-Erian were made on CNBC’s SquawkBox on Monday morning, and represent a distinctly different viewpoint than those of political talking heads and commentators on major news networks.
El-Erian is an Oxbridge educated, former International Monetary Fund director who has served as faculty at Harvard Business School as well as being name to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
He said on Monday: “I think we should not underestimate something ‘Reaganesque’.
“This is way beyond economics. This is national security… there’s a realization in the U.S.: ‘if not now, when?'”
According to CNBC, El-Erian discussed three scenarios which may play out as a result of President Trump’s ongoing refusal to kowtow to Beijing.
He predicts a a “short-term” trade deal between the U.S. and China as 65 per cent likely, what he called a “Reagan moment” at 15 per cent likelihood, and a full-blown trade war at 20 per cent likelihood.
“I think what you’re seeing is the status quo is coming down. And the possibility of the other two are going up. If the U.S. goes full-blown with this as about national security, it can actually change the economic dynamics on a global scale. It really can.”
El-Erian explained the nature of trade wars, seemingly for those in the political spheres who have been scaremongering over this president’s approach to curtailing the rise of China.
“Remember, we win a relative trade war. In absolute terms we suffer. But we win relative to others, ” he said. “I think the markets have understood that the U.S. is in a better place than the rest of the world.”
He added: “This is way beyond economics. This is national security. And you’re seeing it play out. And I think that it is going to be hard to get to a quick resolution, and the markets have to understand these trade tensions are going to stay with us. The best we can hope for is a cease fire. But there’s a realization in the U.S.: ‘if not now, when?'”