In this paper, we demonstrate that dependence on trade influences asymmetric crisis perception. Unilateral crisis perception is more likely to persist when the initiator of the crisis does not depend on trade with the target because in this case the target lacks capability to harm the initiator. Conversely, when the initiator is dependent on trade with the target, mutual crisis perception occurs sooner. Additionally, a state is more likely first to perceive a threat from another state—beginning a crisis as a target—when its trade dependence on that state is high. We find support for these expectations in survival time regressions and probit models spanning the period from 1919 to 2001.