If the renewed escalation in economic disagreements is not just a brief detour before reaching an agreement in the next month or two, then the economic consequences for the U.S. and especially for China will be significant, but not catastrophic.
More important than the direct economic effects of a protracted economic confrontation will be the effects on the viability of the global economic order. If the bilateral dispute results in the economic decoupling of the U.S. and China as well as undermining the role of the World Trade Organization and other multilateral institutions, the transition to a new international economic order will be painful for all.
Even if the result is not a global recession, it would almost certainly be a less prosperous future for a world in which the efficiency of global supply chains and relatively free trade and investment opportunities resting on comparative advantage would be undermined if not destroyed. That said, even if the U.S. and China are able to revive talks and salvage an agreement in the coming weeks, neither country nor the international community can any longer have great confidence that the two countries will avoid renewing their disputes in the future.