For most world leaders and corporate executives, the swing of the global pendulum to more protectionist policies has been an unpleasant surprise.

That's because the consensus view from both economists and economic historians has been that measures like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which triggered a trade war during the Great Depression, greatly exacerbated circumstances that were already quite dire.

LARGEST IMPORTERS Which countries can throw their weight around the most with tariffs and retaliatory measures.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist Here are the top 15 largest importers, globally: The United States takes home the number one spot with $2,409 billion of imports in 2017, about 13.4% of the global total.

After the big three, no other country has a number exceeding 5% of global imports, but Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong (China), and the Netherlands all surpass the 3% mark.

Categories: ZH