The AFL-CIO has put together this excellent article explaining what a trade war is, how tariffs can be used to help workers, and looks at whether or not we are actually in a "trade war." Read more below.
Now, let's tone down the rhetoric just a bit. Real wars, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, are deadly, dangerous, scary affairs. No one should confuse tariffs with real wars.
In terms of economics, the closest thing we have to a "war" is the relentless attack on workers that has been taking place for several decades as economic elites (including corporate CEOs, bad actor employers and the 1% who don't want to pay their fair share of taxes) have worked to rig global economic rules to benefit themselves at the expense of ordinary working people.
The attack on workers has been waged on many fronts, from so-called "right to work" laws that deny our freedom, to regressive tax laws such as the recent Republican tax bill giving big tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs, to attacks on overtime pay and workplace safety, to defunding schools and meals for our children. The attack on workers also comes in the area of trade policy, and includes unfair, predatory actions by China. Trade attacks on workers are aided and abetted by greedy corporations that outsource jobs and abuse workers, and by U.S. officials of both political parties who have failed to stand up for us.