Does the shadow of war decrease trade? I examine the influence of conflict on bilateral trade and argue that trading firms’ expectations of armed conflict, both within and between nation-states, should decrease trade along with armed political violence. By assuming that firms care about future profits and assess the likelihood of a domestic or interstate conflict in the future that could disrupt trade, I argue that increasing the expectation of a domestic or interstate conflict raises the transportation, transaction, and production costs of trade. Empirically, contemporaneous trade levels should be negatively related to trading firms’ beliefs about the likelihood of domestic and interstate conflicts in the future. Statistical tests, using bilateral trade data from 1984 to 1997, show that expectations of domestic or interstate conflict, in addition to violent armed conflicts, are negatively correlated with bilateral trade levels. Theoretically and empirically, this research advances our understanding of the trade-conflict relationship by demonstrating how trading firms’ expectations about future conflict reduce bilateral trade levels.