Mar 19, 2017

Mnuchin blocks anti-protectionism pledge at G-20

Dave Lawler, author of World

Uwe Anspach / dpa via AP

Some participants in the G-20 economic summit were left frustrated after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wouldn't endorse a pledge to "reject all forms of protectionism", the Wall St Journal reports.

That language was dropped from the statement released on Saturday by the G-20. Mnuchin said it was "not necessarily relevant from my standpoint".

Why it matters: Attendees were seeking assurances that the US will not spark trade wars given President Trump's hard line rhetoric and proposals on trade. As one senior participant told the WSJ, "Nobody knows what the end game is."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.