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The Impact of a Trade War: Assessment of the Current Tariffs and Alternative Scenarios

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  • Karyne B. Charbonneau

Abstract

This note uses Charbonneau and Landry’s (2018) framework to assess the direct impact of the current trade tensions on the Canadian and global economies, as well as possible implications if the conflict escalates further. Overall, my findings show that the estimated impact of current tariffs on real gross domestic product (GDP) remains relatively small, which is in line with the literature on gains from trade, but the impact on trade is much larger. With a modest escalation of trade tensions, monetary policy in Canada could face a situation of rising prices and falling real GDP. This dilemma would be worse if Canada takes an active role in the trade conflict. If trade tensions rise more dramatically, the effect on Canada would depend on Canada’s access to the US market. A significant and more broad-based rise in tariffs could lead to large global impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Karyne B. Charbonneau, 2019. "The Impact of a Trade War: Assessment of the Current Tariffs and Alternative Scenarios," Staff Analytical Notes 2019-20, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocsan:19-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    2. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
    3. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    5. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
    6. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:9:p:2731-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
    8. repec:oup:restud:v:86:y:2019:i:1:p:46-80. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2019. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 46-80.
    10. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Kyle J. Kost, 2019. "Policy News and Stock Market Volatility," NBER Working Papers 25720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Karyne B. Charbonneau & Anthony Landry, 2018. "The Trade War in Numbers," Staff Working Papers 18-57, Bank of Canada.
    12. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recent economic and financial developments; Trade Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy

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