Threat of US Steel Probe Looms Over G-20 Summit

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Earlier this week, Abe and representatives of the European Union signed a political agreement for a trade deal that will cover more than a quarter of global economic output.

The EU is not a large importer of steel from the USA, so the measure focuses more on goods that the EU brings in from the U.S., according to the report.

Thus, the meetings exposed the widening expectations gap between the United States and Chinese governments, and led Trump to take action.

For the U.S., the singular focus on North Korea is not only naive and ineffectual, but also masks other consequential issues in the relationship that need to be addressed directly and candidly.

- According to a new report, President Trump's aggressive stance on global trade may be working in America's favor.

Policies that could fall under national security include China's new Cyber Security Act, which is under WTO scrutiny from Japan, South Korea, the United States and others; Ukraine's gas pipeline reforms; and Russia's trade restrictions on Ukraine. But that doesn't mean it won't be discussed on the sidelines, with key players the U.S., China, and South Korea all in attendance.

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Given the challenges confronting Presidents Trump and Xi at home and overseas, a more robust and comprehensive framework for relations that is capable of narrowing areas of difference and deepening cooperation in areas of common interests will best support the domestic agendas of both countries and the security and prosperity of the world.

The summit was also the venue for the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused by USA intelligence agencies of intervening in November's election to swing it in favor of the Republicans. Avoiding whiplash in US-China relations will require that both countries establish a more comprehensive foundation for the relationship.

As the Trump administration presses the Chinese leadership to deal more proactively with Pyongyang, it must also be able to robustly defend United States interests in the South China Sea, raise human rights concerns, and identify common regional and global challenges where our countries can work together constructively.

USA companies say that the Chinese steel boom is also due to unfair government subsidies and state ownership, which protects steel mills from market forces and causes them to produce much more steel than the world needs.

But Trump did not say 40 percent; he said "almost" 40 percent.

As such, the Trump administration still has plenty of time to think about the subject of steel imports.

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The European Union has already promised to retaliate if it is hit by USA steel tariffs.

US President Donald Trump meets other world leaders at Germany's G20 summit from Friday, with North Korea's first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile casting a long shadow over the gathering at the heavily-fortified venue.

- Prior to his departure for Europe, President Trump tweeted his disappointment with China for not doing enough to put pressure on North Korea about its nuclear program. He suggested putting on Chinese imports 45% tariff and said he would announce on his first day in the office that China was a currency manipulator, and he said proposing taxing imports from Mexico that he would rip up the trade deals and referred this as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said at the end of June that Brussels would quickly retaliate against the USA if Europe became collateral damage in Trump's war on cheap steel.

Japan was a party to the now-aborted Trans-Pacific Partnership, a broad trade arrangement negotiated under President Obama that would have lowered trade barriers between the USA and many Asian countries, with the notable exception of China. The U.S.is conducting a similar study into the case for aluminum tariffs.

Yet in a sign of the difficulties ahead in satisfying Mr. Trump's demands, G-20 members wrangled for days to find a joint position on climate change in the aftermath of Mr. Trump's decision to discard the Paris agreement to curb global warming. Underwhelming results at the end of the 100 days could lead to disappointment that cuts against the two leaders' constructive tone.

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