Trade war

The big picture

The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates

And it's likely here to stay.

Jul 16, 2020 - World
Governments turn to protectionism in pandemic fallout

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

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

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

Sep 3, 2019 - Economy & Business

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

Trump more than doubled the U.S. current account deficit

Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. current account deficit, the difference between what goods, services and investments Americans are buying from other countries versus what they are selling, jumped to $188.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: That was the largest shortfall since 2007.

AFL-CIO leader: Clinton, Obama let down unions

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka told Jonathan Swan in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that former Presidents Clinton and Obama didn't understand unions' importance — and were disappointments to organized labor because of it.

What they're saying: "Joe Biden has surrounded himself with people that are worker-friendly, so that in the multitude of decisions that are made every day without the president being involved, they're going to think about the impact it has on workers," Trumka said.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Feb 1, 2021 - Economy & Business

Trump's trade war on China was a failure in every possible way

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Biden administration plans to review the phase one U.S.-China trade deal, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. Based on publicly available data, it's hard to imagine they'll find anything other than a debacle.

Driving the news: China isn't even close to fulfilling its end of the deal — having come up 42% short of its commitment, Chad Bown, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, reported late last week.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 16, 2020 - World

U.S. accuses Switzerland and Vietnam of currency war

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Switzerland and Vietnam have officially been designated as currency manipulators, the Treasury Department announced today.

Why it matters: The designation allows the White House to impose a broad range of tariffs, sanctions and other punishments on the two friendly countries, both of whom have been struggling with strengthening currencies this year.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

The tech war between the U.S. and China escalates

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic tension between the U.S. and China continues to escalate but is shifting in focus — away from the tit-for-tat trade war and toward a more direct confrontation over the future of technology at the heart of the conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Why it matters: The battle between the U.S. and China was always about tech supremacy and the direct confrontation could result in an accelerated splintering of global supply chains and a significant reduction of international commerce.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

Possible restrictions on Chinese chip exports could do harm to U.S. growth

Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's trade war with China and the coronavirus pandemic have crippled U.S. exports this year and could worsen as the administration reportedly is considering export restrictions on China’s most advanced manufacturer of semiconductors.

Where it stands: The U.S. trade deficit has risen to its highest since July 2008 and U.S. exports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP shrank to the lowest level since 2003 in the second quarter.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

Americans are less worried about tariffs

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. consumers are getting less concerned about the impact of tariffs on their daily lives, new data show.

What happening: After consumer concern about the tariffs rose to record highs in April and May, CivicScience noted a consistent decline that has pushed overall readings on concern down to nearly their levels before the pandemic began in the U.S.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

China is less than halfway to its "phase 1" trade deal targets

Reproduced from Peterson Institute for International Economics; Chart: Axios Visuals

To satisfy the conditions of the phase one U.S.-China trade deal, China is expected to purchase at least $200 billion more in U.S. exports combined in 2020 and 2021. Data shows that as of July they are more than 50% behind the pace of expected purchases.

By the numbers: So far, China's purchase of covered products was $39.3 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $83.2 billion, Chad Bown, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, notes.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jul 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

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.

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