SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Trade policy uncertainty driven by the Trump administration’s escalating dispute with China means hundreds of billions of dollars in lost U.S. output and as much as $850 billion lost globally through early next year, research published this week by the Federal Reserve suggests.
The Fed researchers analyzed newspaper articles and corporate earnings calls to estimate trade policy uncertainty, finding it has recently “shot up to levels not seen since the 1970s.”
The Fed researchers then estimated the blow such uncertainty delivers to economic activity, as businesses pull back on investment and production. They concluded that globally and in the United States, its impact is around 1% to GDP.
With U.S. GDP estimated at about $20 trillion, and world GDP at about $85 trillion, a 1% impact would put the drag from trade uncertainty at about $200 billion to U.S. GDP, and $850 billion to global GDP, according to Reuters calculations.
The estimates, the researchers said, are uncertain.
But they are notable in that they are among the first to quantify the large impact of President Donald Trump’s approach to trade deals, which he says put the U.S. economy at a global disadvantage.
In an effort to win better trade terms, the Trump administration has jacked up tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports and imposed or threatened to impose duties on imports from other trading partners, including Mexico and the European Union. China and other countries in turn have threatened or imposed their own tariffs on U.S. goods. ...