Every day is different in the Trump White House, and trade policy is far from immune to internecine warfare, decision by tweet, and all the other uncertainties that plague the Executive Branch as we head into a government shutdown. It’s thus more than possible that suggestions at a meeting earlier this week by a senior Administration official about a new front in the U.S. trade war was nothing more than a trial balloon. Even so, this is a barrage balloon. Applying the trade-in-goods concept of “dumping” to financial services creates a powerful tool for closing off the U.S. to financial institutions with significant home-country advantages over fully-private competitors. Japan was specifically mentioned, but China is a far more likely target of Trump firepower should trade-in-financial-services battles break out.