Economists hate protectionism, and so they always see a trade war right around the corner. No matter what, it seems a trade war is imminent.
But they rarely live up to the hype.
So could we actually get one this time, around food?
BHP’s bid for Potash could set it up. According to this report in The Globe & Mail (and elsewhere) China has laws set up that give it the right to block what it sees as a foreign monopoly.
And then according to Bloomberg, Saskatchewan would likely block any Chinese sovereign bid for Potash (which has been mentioned as a possibility).
Bottom line: when you start talking about food supply, you start to really hit a nerve with governments and their desire to protect their people. Watch out.