The first whiff of protectionism wasn't the Roquefort cheese row, but it's certainly the most eye-catching so far.
George Bush's decision to slap a 300% increase on imports of a famous French brand was a final two-fingered salute to a country whose relationship with the US had - at least until Nicolas Sarkozy became President - been badly fractured.
It was also a bit of a grandmothers' handbag fight; it's thought Bush's move was revenge for the EU banning imports of US hormone treated beef.
But it does illustrate a growing mood in the global economy right now: look after number one first.
Bush isn't alone in putting up the barriers against free trade.
Lawmakers want a "buy America" clause inserted into US President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.
It means the huge programme of public works like schools and roads would be built using American steel and we're talking about some big money projects.
The World Trade Organisation, the champion of free trade, is understandably worried.
Director General Pascal Lamy told the World Economic Forum's last full-day meeting on Saturday that global trade was already a "casualty" of the recession.
The WTO's in-tray is already filling up with a surge of complaints about dumping - where countries sell their goods abroad for less than on home soil. The cries of foul are a sure sign protectionism is on its way back.
It's not just trade. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived in Davos on Friday to warn about the dangers of protectionism as a series of wildcat strikes spread across the UK.
They were orchestrated by oil refinery workers incensed that French energy giant Total wanted to take on Italian and Portuguese labour over British staff, ostensibly because they're cheaper.
Many of those who went on strike feel betrayed by their government for not putting British workers first - even though we're all supposed to have equal rights that extend to jobs under the EU.
It's fanciful to think that global trade is under threat; the world's economies have become too interdependent to suddenly pull down the shutters.
But the prospect of hefty tariffs on key goods will push prices up and hit the more vulnerable products.
And consider this: the latest Doha round of free trade talks broke up in July without agreement on a global deal.
That seemed like a lifetime ago in economic terms - before economies across the world began crashing.
If the will wasn't there back then, it'll take an enormous leap of faith to think anyone's ready to hammer out a complex and all-encompassing agreement now. 'Me first' could well turn out to be the financial motto of 2009.