Trade Wars Are Class Wars How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace Matthew C. Klein, Michael Pettis

Publication date:
14 Jul 2020
Yale University Press
256 pages: 235 x 156mm
29 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


Trade disputes are usually understood as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, but as Matthew Klein and Michael Pettis show in this book, they are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices to serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and ordinary retirees.
Klein and Pettis trace the origins of today’s trade wars to decisions made by politicians and business leaders in China, Europe, and the United States over the past thirty years. Across the world, the rich have prospered while workers can no longer afford to buy what they produce, have lost their jobs, or have been forced into higher levels of debt. In this thought-provoking challenge to mainstream views, the authors provide a cohesive narrative that shows how the class wars of rising inequality are a threat to the global economy and international peace—and what we can do about it.

Matthew C. Klein is the economics commentator at Barron’s. He lives in San Francisco, CA. Michael Pettis is professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He lives in Beijing.