US eases up on allies

The United States, eager to preserve the fragile cooperation among leading industrial nations that has replaced the acrimony of the past, has eased the pressure on its major allies to speed up economic growth. In the meantime, the comments of top US officials suggest they hope that financial markets will calm down in the next several months as nations edge back from a trade war, the US trade deficit starts improving, and it becomes obvious that economic policy changes are in the offing.

Amid signs Washington and Tokyo are on the verge of resolving their dispute over semiconductor trade, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige said most countries are taking great pains to avoid trade clashes, which may have upset financial markets more than anything else.

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