GEORGE Kerevan’s warning about a forthcoming trade war instigated by Trump further shows the danger posed by Brexit and Scotland remaining within the UK (We need to win indy fight before trade wars begin, The National, March 5).

Trump’s 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium are the opening gambit in the new trade war. After Theresa May called Trump to express her concern at the tariffs, Trump took to Twitter to rubbish May’s claim and proclaim the righteousness of his cause. This finally and permanently discredits May’s arguments that a free-trade deal will be done with the US post-Brexit.

Jean-Claude Juncker has threatened retaliation on behalf of the EU, as has China. Trump’s decision signals the tearing down of the post-war system of economic relations.

It would be a mistake to think that the trade war started with Trump. His administration is simply escalating a process begun by Obama. The measure being taken by Trump are not as a result of his chaotic and unfocused White House. They are due to the decline of the US economically. Trump and the US corporate elite are trying to reverse this decline.

Alan Hinnrichs