Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Donald Trump leaves a meeting with EU officials. Photo: THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images

Days ahead of a G-7 meeting this weekend in Quebec, many analysts say the U.S. is in an open trade war with its most steadfast allies.

Be smart: President Trump still appears to be winging it, throwing out one extreme idea after another. His latest threat on NAFTA may merely be his maximalist negotiating strategy at work: No one — perhaps even he — knows. But the EU, Mexico and Canada appear to be drawing a hard line in the sand, creating an atmosphere of brinksmanship.

Details:

  • The EU today slapped tariffs on $3.4 billion in U.S. exports of peanut butter, boats and Harleys, aimed at congressional leaders' districts.
  • Canada is targeting $12.8 billion in pens, orange juice, maple syrup, mattresses and toilet paper, also aimed at powerful congressman.
  • Mexico imposed tariffs Tuesday on $3 billion of U.S. pork, cheese and steel, aimed at farmers.
"An open trade war has finally erupted in the backyard of the U.S., with potentially dire repercussions for the survival of NAFTA"
— Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University professor, tells the FT

Quick take: Until now, this has been a one-way war declared by President Trump, who for decades has railed against the supposed negotiating incompetence of U.S. trade officials. Now, as president, he has lurched from crisis to impasse, and yesterday threatened to tear up the quarter-century-old NAFTA treaty, saying that he prefers to negotiate separately with Mexico and Canada. Both U.S. neighbors reject the idea.

By the numbers:

  • The Commerce Department today reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell to a seven-month low in April, to $46.2 billion, reports Reuters' Lucia Mutikani. In addition, Commerce revised the March figure to a lower figure than previously reported — $47.2 billion, down from $49 billion.
  • And, in a survey released yesterday by the U.S. Business Roundtable, 95% of CEOs said there is at least a moderate risk of reduced U.S. exports from retaliation by trading partners. And 89% said lower U.S. economic growth is at least a moderate risk.

Republicans are also pushing back: Legislation attached by Republican senators to the must-pass defense authorization bill would put handcuffs on Trump's ability to use national security as a basis to impose tariffs, as he has done, report WSJ's Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson.

What trade analysts are saying:

  • David Wessel at Brookings thinks that Trump faces tough opposition: "It’s really hard to believe that he is going to abolish NAFTA, that the American business community with its integrated supply chains (and their friends on the R side in Congress, will meekly accept this, or that Mexico and Canada would agree to such an obvious divide-and-conquer tactic."
  • Bill Reinsch, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, predicts that Canada and Mexico will maintain a united front against Trump. "Remember the Benjamin Franklin quote: 'We must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately.'”
  • Edward Alden, at the Council on Foreign Relations suggests that we are watching Trump's calling card — "Make threats, and if they don't work, double down, and then if that doesn't work, triple down.'"

Go deeper: American products that now face Trump's trade war

Get more stories like this by signing up for Steve's weekly newsletter, Axios Future. 

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!