Trump's push for tariffs squeezes a weakening global economy

JOSH BOAK
In this Dec. 1, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump, second from right, meets with China's President Xi Jinping, second from left, during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. China promised Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, to carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington but gave no details that might help dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi and Trump agreed to in Argentina.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The global economy was already showing signs of a slowdown when President Donald Trump reminded the world of his love of tariffs and sent a chill through financial markets.

"I am a Tariff Man," Trump announced Tuesday to signal his devotion to import taxes — a remark that served to downplay the likelihood of ending his trade war with China. Stocks sank across the world, in part over fear that an escalation in tariffs would choke off economic growth and possibly send a global slowdown into a recession.

By Wednesday, Tariff Man had tweaked his message to suggest more optimism on the odds of forging a deal with President Xi Jinping. Their meeting last weekend at an economic conference in Argentina produced a 90-day truce.