Nobody would benefit from deterioration in trade relations between the U.S. and China, but with Congress incapable of enacting a deficit-reduction plan or additional stimulus, the nations are drifting toward increased turmoil, according to The Economist. The U.S. trade deficit with China has widened, while China reported its biggest trade surplus in more than a year. With high unemployment lingering and an election coming up, the U.S. is ripe for protectionist populism, with a "real trade blow-up" likely, the magazine notes.

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