There is no doubt that a full-scale Trade War would be bad news for everyone. What is not clear, however, is whether the first joust à plaisance will make Messrs Trump and Xi get off their high horses and negotiate or fight à outrance. The US opening atteint is to cut $50bn from the current $375bn annual deficit in trade with China via 25% tariffs on locomotives, motorcycles, electric cars, aircraft parts, industrial robots, television sets. cell phones and laptops. The explicit aim is to penalise Chinese exporters without harming US consumers. Alas, China saw Mr Trump coming and have concentrated their first atteint at US exports originating in his heartlands of voters, especial foodstuffs. This is, of course, rather cunning as unlike for Mr Xi malcontent voters could be a major problem for President Trump, who has an increasingly iron grip on a Republican Party increasingly nervous of November’s mid-term elections. Moreover, US firms cannot easily switch suppliers for the stuff they actually need. On the other hand Mr Xi has a lot of mouths to feed and needs both foreign customers and investors. It has to be said that China has pushed its luck on stealing IP and discriminating against foreign companies. Then there is cybersecurity in which China claims that it is acting in self-defence against decades of US hostility. It is easy to see how a mêlée could break out but a parley still seems the most likely next move. Meanwhile, equity investors looking for reasons to sell are taking fright.