Sep 8, 2019

Trade between U.S. and China plummets ahead of October negotiations

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trade between China and the United States has continued to fall ahead of October negotiations and a further tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs, according to customs data reported by AP.

The big picture: Imports of American products to China dropped to $10.3 billion in August, down 22% from the same month last year. Chinese exports to the U.S. also plummeted to $44.4 billion in August, down 16%. China's trade surplus with the U.S. shrunk to $31.3 billion in August, down $27 billion from a year prior.

  • Both sides of the escalating trade war hiked tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods last month, disrupting industries ranging from agriculture to the auto sector to consumer products.
  • Talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this summer ended without a deal. Negotiators are set to meet again in October, with Trump planning additional tariff increases on Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.

The state of play:

  • On Sept. 1, the U.S. imposed a 15% tariff on $112 billion worth of Chinese goods. China retaliated by resuming 25% tariffs on American cars and adding 5–10% tariffs on $75 billion worth of goods.
  • On Oct. 1, Trump will increase existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods from 25% to 30%.
  • On Dec. 15, the U.S. will hit another batch of $160 billion of Chinese imports with 15% tariffs, originally delayed to reduce the impact on Christmas shoppers. China will retaliate with its second batch of tariffs on $75 billion of American goods.

Between the lines: Per AP, "Some analysts suggest Beijing is holding out in hopes Trump will feel pressure to make a more favorable deal as his campaign for the 2020 presidential election picks up. Trump has warned that if he is reelected, China will face a tougher U.S. negotiating stance."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.