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Ford's luxury Lincoln brand plans to ramp up its sales in China, revealing plans Monday to produce a new luxury SUV in China by 2019, to capitalize on booming demand there.

Unfair trade: Foreign car makers face a 25% tariff before they can sell their cars in China, making it difficult for exporters to compete with companies that produce within the country's borders. Furthermore, a U.S. company can't build factories in China without a joint-venture partner—Ford will build its new vehicle in concert with state-owned Changan Automobile. Ron Harbour, an autos consultant with Oliver Wyman, points out that GM's China-made Buick Envision, for instance, only faces a 2.5% tariff before hitting the American market and no joint-venture requirements. "Does that sound like fair trade to you?" he asks.

Why it matters: Ford says the decision shouldn't have domestic political implications, as the brand will only be sold in China. But if China were more open to foreign trade, it wouldn't be necessary for Ford to risk investment there, and it's possible that rising Chinese demand could be counted on for more American jobs.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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