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Trump’s Latest Strategy: Less Trade War, and More Let’s Make a Deal

When President Trump signed proclamations to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum on Thursday, he portrayed it as an effort to throw around America’s economic weight in hope of reaching better deals from major international partners.

But Mr. Trump, who had set off warnings by trade experts that this could become the first attack in a global trade war, also sent a different signal. There would be exceptions in the nations that the tariffs are applied to, he said.

The result is that the new tariffs look more like a negotiating tactic — less the beginning of a war, more the beginning of a new round of haggling.

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