Trump’s China-bashing more class war than trade war: Thomas Piketty

French economist and darling of the left says US president is using external threats to gain support of the poor and distract from his ‘pro-rich’ policies

By Bhavan Jaipragas

The celebrated French economist Thomas Piketty does not mince his words when it comes to US President Donald Trump and his trade war with China.

Sitting down for a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, the darling of the global left said Trump was using the tariff dispute to mask a far bigger problem in the world’s biggest economy: an unyielding class divide.

The celebrity economist cautioned the left against despair at Trump and other populist leaders using identity politics and protectionism to galvanise the poor.

Instead, he said the likes of Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain must continue advocating policies such as increased income tax for the wealthy – even if it earns them brickbats in the short term.