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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Trump Got Trade Right at the G-7: All Tariffs Must Go

Nations can keep their regulatory barriers, but import taxes are ripe for extinction.

The body language says it all.

The body language says it all.

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s unexpected call to remove all trade barriers didn’t gain much traction with other Group of Seven leaders, perhaps because they were fuming about the U.S. president’s behavior during the summit in Canada this weekend. But a partial implementation of the idea would be a good way to defuse the brewing trade war without preventing nations from protecting certain markets.

Trump’s demands for fairer terms of trade for the U.S. has focused on tariffs. On average, these levies don’t put the U.S. at much of a disadvantage: even though those imposed by the European Union and Canada are generally slightly higher than America’s.