Since US President Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 election, US trade changes were almost certainly going to eventuate with the promise of increased ‘America-first’ policy. In 2018, a series of tariffs of up to 50% were imposed by the US on various imports, including solar panels and washing machines at first, then raw materials like steel and aluminum. Huge economic powers, like China, the EU and India were impacted, as well as US neighbors Canada and Mexico, with tit-for-tat trade tariff scuffles increasing international tensions.
The impact of Covid-related measures in 2020 seems to be accelerating the existing trends of de-globalization, automation and sustainability as well as reversing trends of the past several decades such as international mobility and urbanization. The pandemic has left economies around the world in recession and many believe the full effects on the global economy has not yet been fully realized, meaning tougher times are still to come.