Paul Krugman roasts Trump for backing away from China trade war: 'He talks loud but carries a small stick'
Economist Paul Krugman discusses Donald Trump on July 13, 2015. [Bloomberg TV]

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has roasted President Donald Trump in the New York Times over reports that he plans to meekly back down from his trade war with China.

Krugman starts off his column by citing multiple reports indicating that Trump's new deal with China will have the United States "remove most of the tariffs it imposed last year," while "China, for its part, would end its retaliatory tariffs, make some changes to its investment and competition policies and direct state enterprises to buy specified amounts of U.S. agricultural and energy products."

What all this amounts to, Krugman writes, is "much ado about nothing" and will mark more-or-less a return to the pre-Trump status quo.

However, Krugman also believes that Trump's trade war will leave lasting damage on the United States' reputation throughout the world and harm our ability to strike future agreements.

"The whole world now knows two things about us," he writes. "First, we’re not reliable -- an agreement with the U.S. is really just a suggestion, because you never know when the president will invent some excuse for breaking it. Second, we’re easily rolled: The president may talk tough on trade, but in classic bully fashion, he runs away if confronted."

The bottom line, argues Krugman, is that America under Trump will "talk loud but carry a small stick."

Read the whole piece here.