Photo by Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Some U.S. companies have begun to pre-order excess product from Chinese suppliers, ahead of President Trump's proposed tariffs, according to Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of shipping logistics company Flexport.

Petersen, whose company is valued north of $900 million by VC firms like Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, adds that he's preparing his more than 10,000 clients for the tariffs to go into effect.

More from Petersen:

  • "What else are we supposed to do? If it happens, it will be catastrophic for some of them."
  • Some companies already are talking about moving some manufacturing outside the U.S. One possible destination is Vietnam.
  • There is a U.S. loophole whereby there's no duty on anything worth less than $800, so some importers may respond to tariffs by having items packaged individually instead of in bulk. It's also could be a boon to e-commerce companies like Wish, and create the opportunity for new direct fulfillment platforms.
  • Flexport has not been asked for input on the tariffs from anyone in the White House. Petersen also hasn't yet discussed the matter yet with Trae Stephens, a Flexport director (via Founders Fund) who worked on the Trump transition.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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