Jul 22, 2018

Merkel hopes for trade deal amid Trump's tariffs threat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Not every foreign leader is eager to play hardball with Trump. The Germans, in particular, are much more inclined to compromise. Angela Merkel badly wants a trade deal to prevent Trump from carrying out his threat to put 25% tariffs on car imports into the U.S., according to two senior European officials privy to internal discussions.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker plans to meet Trump at the White House on Wednesday. And European officials tell me they expect him to come armed with proposals including a "plurilateral trade deal" that would involve the trade of cars and car parts — an obsession of Trump's.

  • The U.S. imposes tariffs of 2.5% on car imports, while the Europeans impose a 10% tariff on car imports. But the Europeans like to point out that the U.S. imposes a 25% tariff on light-truck and van imports.

Between the lines: Senior European officials have told me they're working under the assumption that Trump wants his car tariffs before the November midterm elections. So they're already discussing their retaliatory measures.

  • Trump is infuriated by Germany in particular. At lunch with Merkel last year when she visited Washington, Trump took her to task over the gusher of German car imports, when not enough American cars were selling in Germany.
  • According to a source at the lunch, Trump told her: "You guys are flooding our streets with German cars. I can’t go anywhere without seeing one. They’re flying up and down the streets here ... Do you have Fords and Chevrolets flying up and down streets in Germany too?"

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There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.