All eyes in the trade world are fixed on the United States and China, with the world’s two largest economies locked in negotiations that could shape the contours of global commerce into the next decade.

The issues on the table — technology transfer, intellectual property, cloud computing and the push by the U.S. to gain a bigger foothold for their financial and high-tech service industries — encompass the big battlefields of the 21st century economy. But a more telling look at the future of world trade might be found elsewhere, in disputes involving mundane commodities currently besetting Australia and Canada.

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