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Historians say President Trump is a symptom of the anti-establishment turn in global politics, not its cause. Therefore, the populism that has erupted across the U.S. and Europe will go on or die — independent of what happens to him.
But what about the global trade war, which seems to be wholly Trump-driven? Experts tell Axios that it only appears that way: Protectionism, they say, is now part of the populist zeitgeist — and will outlast Trump.
Driving the news: The U.S.-China trade war is now up to $360 billion in goods between the two countries. Beijing today retaliated against Trump with tariffs on an additional $60 billion in U.S. trade, bringing the total to $110 billion. Yesterday, Trump said he would impose tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports, bringing the total from the U.S. side to $250 billion.
We previously reported that the trade war with China could last a year or longer. Now experts say the war will be larger and endure for an unknown period of time.
If there’s any chance for a return to the pre-Trump system, it’s this: "[T]he polls suggest that younger American voters are generally quite pro-free trade and see the benefits of globalization," says Alden. "So I think the protectionist moment we are seeing will be shorter rather than longer. But a lot of damage could be done in that short time."
Go deeper: A new era of global trade wars
In Seattle. Photo: George Rose/Getty
In the last year, Amazon earned 50 cents of every dollar spent online in the U.S. At nearly $1 trillion, its market cap grew to triple the combined value of Sears, JCPenney, Best Buy, Macy's, Target, Kohl's, Nordstrom and Walmart.
Axios' Erica Pandey reports: I learned at a conference in New York yesterday, Jeff Bezos' tech giant has quickly become the existential crisis in front of almost every e-commerce and brick-and-mortar firm, whose CEOs are faced with a singular question: How do I beat — or even survive — Amazon?
Three top retail and e-commerce CEOs — Tobi Lütke of Shopify, Binny Bansal of Flipkart and Jeff Gennette of Macy's — fielded that same question at Recode's Code Commerce conference. Amazon seemed to be mentioned every few minutes even though the company sent no speakers to the event.
What they're saying: It's "impossible" to beat Amazon at its own game, says Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business and author of "The Four," a critique of Big Tech, including Amazon. But each of the CEOs argued that there are chinks in the e-commerce king's armor. Here is how they are attacking the threat:
1. Be friendly. Lütke says that Shopify champions its business clients while Amazon thinks "merchants don't matter."
2. Know your (foreign) market. Amazon and Flipkart, its homegrown rival in India, are locked in a fight for the world's fastest-growing e-commerce market. But Bansal thinks he can win, relying on intimate knowledge of the country.
3. Play to your (physical) strengths. Macy's physical presence gives it deceptive power, Gennette says. To put this in context, about 90% of U.S. retail sales still take place in physical stores, not online.
Amid uncertainty for how to best navigate the profoundly changing job future, students in U.S. colleges are turning away from the humanities and toward STEM subjects, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
The big picture: The number of students earning degrees in subjects such as art, history and language has dropped each year since 2012 — around the time undergraduates who enrolled during or right after the financial crash were graduating. As is clear in the chart above, their share of the total has shrunk as well, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
Among other possible factors in the shift are the Obama administration's investment in and promotion of STEM education, the shrinkage of lucrative Wall Street jobs and a surge in STEM salaries, especially in artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
AI and keeping marketing human (David Weinberger — DMEXCO) (video)
Sizing up Teddy versus Trump (Doris Kearns Goodwin — Vanity Fair)
EU crackdown misses Big Tech targets (Sara Fischer, David McCabe — Axios)
How US banks took over the financial world (Martin Arnold — FT)
Found: The universe's missing matter (Katia Moskvitch — Wired)
Yogis in Hoboken, New Jersey. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty
For those who lurk in the back of their yoga class, insecure about their skills, your latest nightmare is a pair of pants that know when you're making a mistake.
How it works: Three sensors made by Wearable X — one at your ankle, another behind your knee and a third at your hip — can tell whether you're correctly doing downward dog, or any other yoga pose. If you've got it, the sensors vibrate to congratulate you. If you're not quite there, the app tells you how to adjust, reports Erica.