In ominous signs of the damage being done by the trade war between China and the United States, data released on Wednesday indicated that the German economy was hurtling toward recession and that growth at Chinese factories was slowing at a pace not seen in nearly two decades.
President Trump is inciting a trade war, undermining NATO and painting Europe as a foe. It’s no wonder, then, that the European Union is looking elsewhere for friends. On Tuesday in Tokyo, it signed its largest trade deal ever, a pact with Japan that will slash customs duties on products like European wine and cheese, while gradually reducing tariffs on cars. The agreement will cover a quarter of the global economy — by some measures the largest free-trade area in the world — and is the latest in a string of efforts either concluded or in the works with countries like Australia, Vietnam and even China.