Trade war

The big picture

The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates
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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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Everything Shortage to last past Christmas

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

America's supply chain crisis, which has driven prices higher and made all sorts of goods harder to find, may last long after the holiday season.

The big picture: If goods aren't off a boat by now, it's highly unlikely that they'll make it onto store shelves before Christmas. And there are dozens and dozens of ships anchored offshore at the country's biggest ports.

Oct 4, 2021 - World

U.S. to warn China is not complying with Trump's Phase One trade deal

Shipping containers at Nansha Port in Guangzhou, China. Photo: Qian Wenpan/Nanfang Daily/VCG via Getty Images

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will declare Monday that an extensive review found China isn't meeting its commitments under the Phase One trade deal — laying the groundwork for the Biden administration to keep in place Trump-era tariffs while considering other punitive actions.

Why it matters: American businesses and importers have waited months to hear what President Biden will do with the trade war he inherited from Trump, which has pitted the world's two largest economies against one another.

Oct 1, 2021 - World

U.S. trade chief: Biden team will "build on" Trump-era tariffs against China

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in May. Photo: Pete Marovich/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will "build on" existing tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports as part of a strategy against the Chinese government for failing to meet commitments under the Trump-era Phase One deal, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in an interview with Politico on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tai's comments come as the Biden administration seeks a new trade strategy with Beijing while navigating U.S. companies' calls to lift tariffs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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