News accounts of the G7 summit have been so dismal that one could begin to doubt Trump will have the tariff problem licked by July. I’m holding to my prediction that he will, however, but it’s going to take some artful dealing in the meantime to get it done. Merkel called Trump’s blunt rejection of a G7 communique “sobering and a bit depressing.” Is Trump just playing poker? Most surely. However, there is room for doubt as to whether Merkel is truly at the point of despair. It will come down to dollars in the end, and Trump would not have raised the bet if he weren’t holding some good cards. Remember, he has already cut tariff deals with Australia, South Korea and Argentina. Europe was bound to dig in its heels deeper, since they really do hate the guy. But Merkel still has blood on her nose from the Iran deal. When Trump walked away from it, so did 400 German companies who evidently would rather do business with the U.S. than with Iran. To be sure, Wall Street isn’t going to like the news from Europe as the week begins. But don’t rule out the possibility of a strong rally when Merkel and Canada’s Trudeau eventually cave, as seems likely to me.
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