A Tesla car charging in Beijing. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

American-made cars are among the hardest-hit products in the U.S.-China trade war, facing a 40% import tariff in China — and some automakers are weathering the storm by doubling down on Chinese operations.

Why it matters: Moving into China is a natural step for big automakers looking to crack the world’s fastest-growing car market, but tariffs provide a big incentive to accelerate those plans. Their investments in factories and in research and development on Chinese soil could give China a long-term advantage when it comes to building the electric and autonomous vehicles of the future.

The big picture

BMW expects a 5–10% bump in Chinese sales this year, despite tariffs, because it has shifted manufacturing to Asia, Reuters reports.

  • The automaker now builds X3s intended for the Chinese market in China, so it doesn't have to export the model from Spartanburg, South Carolina. That raises the total number of BMW models manufactured in China to six. BMW also imports its X5 to China from Thailand.

Tesla wants to build a massive Chinese factory in part to weather the trade war.

Volkswagen is partnering with China as it plots its move to electric vehicles.

  • Volkswagen says it will invest $12 billion in the Chinese market by 2025, per Bloomberg, and expects China to be the largest market for its electric vehicles.

The bottom line: While the Trump administration launched a global trade war with the goal of bolstering U.S. manufacturing, the trade war's unintended consequences could far outlast the conflict itself.

Go deeper

Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,767,669 — Total deaths: 128,951 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
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Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.