trade war

A trade war is an outbreak of protectionism, between two or more nations. Trade wars usually begin with a trade dispute, perhaps over some economic subsidy, regulatory barrier, or other unfair trading practice. The combatants usually impose retaliatory tariffs, quotas or bans on specific imports, or less frequently, use across the board tariffs on all imports from the opponent. A trade war is generally fought between nations over economic disputes, rather than political, ideological or territorial disputes. As trade wars are unlikely to become a "shooting" war (in which case trading generally ceases altogether).

Trade wars are often signs of an underlying shift in economic power.