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Trump wants to punish China on trade, but his latest tariffs strike Asian allies

Trump wants to punish China on trade, but his latest tariffs strike Asian allies

President Trump has repeatedly singled out China for the kind of unfair trade he aimed to curb Thursday when smacking tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. But in the fallout, China is the one emerging relatively unscathed.

Trump gave a reprieve to Canada and Mexico, for now, and suggested allies such as Australia also may receive exemptions. Countries around the globe, including Japan and South Korea, scrambled to get on the list. Leaders loudly condemned the move, which threatens to explode into a trade war and rupture America’s most important alliances in Asia.

“This is not just about Japan,” said Ken Onuki, director of general affairs at the Japan Aluminum Assn. “It’s a...

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