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The US will be the loser from Trump’s focus on trade deficits

Robert B. Zoellick

By Robert Zoellick (original source Financial Times)

“People around the world are bewildered by President Donald Trump’s manoeuvres on trade. Their confusion is understandable, because Mr Trump rejects 70 years of US policy.

This week’s tumult with China is symptomatic. Mr Trump told China to slash the  bilateral trade deficit by $200bn. The Chinese are offering to buy more energy, farm products and aeroplanes, diverting trade without making fundamental changes. Beijing can also cut auto tariffs, although Japan and the EU would be the prime beneficiaries.”

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