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Melvyn Krauss

What Do Steel Tariffs Have to Do With Iran? Plenty

It involves exchanging trade peace for concessions on defense spending and Iran.

Loud and clear.

Loud and clear.

Photographer: AFP Contributor/AFP

Europe’s temporary waiver from U.S. import quotas on steel and aluminum is about to expire, and most experts are pessimistic that a U.S.-EU trade war can be avoided. They can’t fathom a trade deal that would satisfy both U.S. President Donald Trump and European Union leaders — at least not a conventional trade deal.

But a conventional trade deal does not seem to be what the Trump White House really has in mind. Instead, it wants to exchange trade peace for foreign and security policy concessions. That’s a novel — and potentially fraught — way for an American president to do business with his closest allies. But in the short term, it might deliver some results that Trump can use to declare victory.