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glut for punishment

The China Steel Trap

Trade restrictions will hurt rather than help America's rust-belt heartland.
Construction workers on the site of the
Photographer: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Nothing is more satisfying than a story with clearly defined goodies and baddies.

Here's one for the world's steelmakers: Decades ago, China's Communist overlords hatched a plan to destroy their trading partners. By building a bloated domestic steel industry, they could drive down global prices and suck profits from competitors. With its industrial base on life support, the West would become economically -- and even militarily -- defenseless.