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Even if the U.S. reduces its trade deficit with individual nations, that won’t solve the underlying fact that America spends more than it saves, meaning the deficit will likely just migrate somewhere else.
Mr. Trump seems to want to move the U.S. toward China’s approach, rather than move China toward the U.S. approach of open trade and globalization. He seems to want the U.S. to be more like China than China to be more like the U.S. And I’m not sure that’s the best path for the U.S. to go down.
Mr. Trump ought to pick the right fights rather than focus on issues that resonate with his political base but which are unlikely to help U.S. economic interest in either the short term or long run.