Trade war

The big picture

The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates

And it's likely here to stay.

Jul 16, 2020
Governments turn to protectionism in pandemic fallout

Global cross-border merger activity is down 40% year-to-date.

Jun 8, 2020
Despite promises, Trump's trade deficits are only growing

Under Trump, the U.S. trade deficit has increased by $125 billion.

Sep 3, 2019

All Trade war stories

More than a quarter of Americans are spending less because of China tariffs

Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

While the U.S.-China trade war has drawn fewer headlines in recent months, nearly seven in 10 Americans say they are concerned about how tariffs are impacting the cost of things they purchase. That's the same number registered in March when the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate.

Why it matters: Despite record low interest rates and trillions of dollars in stimulus from Congress and the Fed, everyday Americans say they are pulling back spending, with 28% saying they are buying less than they used to because prices had increased.

U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be subsiding in China, it's becoming clear that its targets for the phase one trade deal with the U.S. are unrealistic and there is so far no sign of a plan for renegotiation.

What's happening: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Thursday the trade deal was "intact, and China has every intent of implementing it."

May 20, 2020 - World

Josh Hawley crafts the case against China

Hawley. Photo: Carlos Barria-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will lambast China on Wednesday, arguing on the Senate floor that the existing international order must be ripped up to avert a future in which America takes “second place to the imperialists in Beijing.”

Why it matters: Hawley’s star has risen fast, and the 40-year-old freshman senator is often discussed as a 2024 presidential prospect. He’s betting that Trump’s populist nationalism and hawkishness on China aren’t passing phenomena, but the future of the Republican Party.

China is nowhere near meeting the "phase 1" trade agreement

Reproduced from Panjiva; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. stocks fell sharply in the final hour of trading Wednesday after President Trump seemingly reignited the trade war, telling reporters the U.S. would be evaluating whether China has complied with the "phase 1" trade deal to buy an extra $200 billion a year of U.S. goods.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to choke the U.S. and global economy, Trump is threatening to tighten the vice.

American concern about tariffs hits new record high

Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S. imports of Chinese goods hit its highest level on record in April, as the coronavirus pandemic caused more Americans to fear the their' impact on household finances, according to the latest survey from CivicScience.

Where it stands: The tariffs remain a massive tax on American businesses and individuals at a time when Congress and the Federal Reserve are expending trillions of dollars to offset the negative economic shock of the virus.

Mar 21, 2020 - Health

Report: Drop in medical supplies tied to decreased China imports

Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

An AP report finds that the shortage of medical supplies in the United States correlated with the drop in imports, mainly from China.

Why it matters: Emergency rooms, hospitals, and clinics are starting to run out of key supplies needed to protect health care officials and test potentially sick individuals, AP notes.

The trade war could weaken U.S. coronavirus response

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams looks on as President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

As the Trump administration mulls its plan to battle the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, scant attention has been given to a major source of potential stimulus: reining in its tariffs on China.

Why it matters: U.S. tariffs increase costs for American companies that import Chinese goods, and with fewer customers making purchases as the COVID-19 outbreak slows demand, the trade war "is going to be a bigger drag on the economy," Chad P. Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), tells Axios.chevron.

Pence: "We'll see" if U.K.'s Huawei decision threatens trade deal

Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC Friday that "we'll see" if the U.K.'s decision to allow Chinese telecom firm Huawei to build part of its 5G network will impact forthcoming trade talks between the U.S. and U.K.

Why it matters: Striking a trade deal with the U.S. is one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top priorities post-Brexit.

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