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Jonathan Swan Apr 25, 2017
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Trump targets Canada in economic nationalist trade push

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was clear about the message the U.S. was sending in announcing a tax on Canadian softwood lumber imports: "It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations."

The substance of the move isn't that unusual — the lumber dispute goes back to the 80s — but the combative rhetoric toward an ally is highly irregular.

It raises the question: is the Trump admin just trying to look tough ahead of the 100-day mark?

Our thought bubble: We're inclined to take this more seriously as a sign of things to come. Trump wants to re-examine every US trade relationship, especially those in Asia.