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International relations

Trump walks into a trade-war trap

US tariffs hark back to lost 1980s world

| China

"No one will emerge as the winner in a trade war." This was Xi Jinping's pitch in January 2017 to the masters of globalization in Davos, Switzerland. There, China's president promoted his economy as an alternative to an America turning inward.

Fourteen months on, Donald Trump is proving Xi right. On March 2, President Trump borrowed from a script more befitting Indonesia and Malaysia than the world's biggest economy. Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel -- and 10% on aluminum -- will delight his base, but comes at the expense of global growth and the trust of Washington's few remaining allies.

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