Table: Risky White House Trade Tactics

U.S. ACTION: Three-year tariffs on imported steel.

RISK: Retaliation against a range of U.S. exports, charges brought before the WTO. The dispute could spark a full-scale trade war.

U.S. ACTION: New farm subsidies.

RISK: Other major ag exporters, including Europe, Australia, and Brazil, are threatening to bring a WTO case. Administration's action makes it harder to persuade others to cut subsidies, a longtime goal of U.S. trade policy.

U.S. ACTION: Tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.

RISK: Ottawa is threatening complaints to the WTO and a trade tribunal under NAFTA. The U.S. needs good relations with its largest trading partner. A third of its softwood lumber imports come from Canada.

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