The G-7 annual meeting, which was once an amicable conclave of industrialized democracies, is taking place today with unusual acrimony.

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Trading partners?

Donald Trump of course, is the center of hostile attention as he tosses around tariff increases on US allies like confetti. European leaders and Canada are harrumphing that they are being treated badly, though occasionally someone whispers about their own high tariff regimes, particularly those at large in the European Union.

There are lots of reasons to be upset about this harsh give and take. Curiously enough, the hostility makes it harder to deal with the elephant in the room: China and its overproduction of steel-making.

The US and its Western allies should be working on how to curb that together. Trump, however, seems not to like working with anyone else on anything. He even wants, apparently, to deal separately with Canada and Mexico to revamp NAFTA, the free trade agreement which was an accord among the three countries. Working with the EU seems beyond his way of thinking.

Meanwhile, Europe and Canada find it easier to dump on Trump than figure out how to deal with China: one reason they are upset with the Trump 25 per cent tariffs on steel is that China threatens their own steel producers. Those manufacturers will have lose competitiveness for selling to the US and will have difficulty competing with low-cost China anywhere else, including within their domestic market.

The problem is common to the US and its allies, yet this will not be discussed at the G-7, where Trump is basically making a pro-forma stop on his way to Singapore and his meeting with Kim Jung Un. It’s an absurd situation, but that’s where it all stands.

Foreign Policy on the complications the US-Allied tiff has in dealing with China.

Canada tries to take on China.

Somewhere in the middle of WSJ article, China is mentioned.

Spiegel thinks Germany may be weak link in dispute.



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