Trade Wars And The Batman Problem : Planet Money It may be too late to avoid a trade war between the U.S. and China, but there might be a simple way to stop the trade wars of the future.

Trade Wars And The Batman Problem

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Adam West brings out his alter ego, Batman, for the filming of a 1967 road safety ad for children.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The United States and China have started their trade war, and it's not clear how long it will last or how it will end.

Economists largely agree that the tariffs used to fight trade wars are destructive, and that the destruction is amplified by the retaliations and escalations of each side.

What if there had been a way to avoid this trade war well before it started, a strategy that would have addressed the conditions that led to the trade war before they became problematic.

Today on the show, we speak with Joe Gagnon, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who argues that not only did such a strategy exist, but the same strategy could still be employed now to avoid the trade wars of the future.

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