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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The United States' trade war with China is likely to last much longer than originally thought — extending well into the second half of next year and perhaps longer, experts say.
The main reason: Neither side is prepared to appear politically weak at home, and both are ready to absorb economic pain.
Why it matters: The winners of a one-year or longer trade war without resolution are not clear, but here are some of the probable losers:
The background: Trump says he is determined, among other objectives, to get China to stop hacking U.S. commercial secrets and forcing American companies to disgorge their intellectual property to Chinese rivals. And as early as Sept. 6 — 10 days from now — the U.S. may substantially escalate, levying tariffs on $200 billion in trade, and Beijing is expected to strike back.
Most of the China experts whom Axios spoke with dispute this thinking. Brad Setser, an expert on China's economy at the Council on Foreign Relations, expects only about a 0.5% hit to Chinese GDP next year should Trump, as he has threatened, escalate to tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — or half its exports to the U.S.
What's next: Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, is forecasting the unfolding of a new Cold War next year between the U.S. and China, this time on the battleground of technology and influence over other countries. "By the end of 2019, I suspect the biggest headlines on U.S.-China will be more focused on a changing global power balance than a direct trade war," he tells Axios in an email exchange.
Boarding JetBlue using facial recognition. Photo: Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe/Getty Images
A few weeks ago, we wrote about faces increasingly replacing passwords. But your mug can do more than get you through security: Companies are planning to use facial scans to identify you in stores, restaurants, and sports arenas, and tag you for specialized ads and custom coupons — widening the potential for privacy breaches.
Kaveh Waddell writes: When the film Minority Report was released 16 years ago, its hyper-targeted ads were a creepy window to the future. Now, millions unlock their iPhones with their faces every day, edging a technology that, to many, still seems invasive toward the mainstream.
What's happening: When the National Soccer Hall of Fame opens in October in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, visitors will have the option to register their face and fill out a short questionnaire about their favorite teams and players.
Benji Hutchinson, a vice president at the U.S. subsidiary of NEC, which made the system, says Apple's Face ID — a feature of last year's iPhone X — is pushing facial recognition mainstream.
The push toward commercial biometric identification is part of a century-long trend toward extreme personalization, said Joseph Turow, a professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
For more than two years, we've been speaking of the threat to the liberal world order, shaken to its core by the rash of new autocratic-minded governments, and, most importantly, a change of heart by its creator and leader — the United States.
But this summer, I realized that I could know a lot more about what the world order actually is. On my bookshelf all this time, unread, was "World Order," by Henry Kissinger, secretary of state and national security adviser to presidents Nixon and Ford. Over the last couple of weeks, I've dug in.
It's a rich history, starting in the 17th century. Though published in 2014, it foresees the rise of Trump, or someone like him, linking it to the explosion of social media:
A hyper-troubling thread is Kissinger's description of the bedrock of U.S. power from the beginning, and especially since World War II — its claim of moral high ground. Always, Americans have argued that other countries sought their cold, hard state interests, while the U.S. was foremost about values and ideals.
Before America First became the mantra, Kissinger warned against it:
"Calculations of power without a moral dimension will turn every disagreement into a test of strength; ambition will know no resting place; countries will be propelled into unsustainable tours de force of elusive calculations regarding the shifting configuration of power."
Fun fact: In the end notes, we see that, typically, Kissinger has eyes deep in the White House. Schuyler Schouten, his research associate on this book, is special assistant to Trump and associate White House counsel.
Go deeper with the FT: Henry Kissinger — 'We are in a very, very grave period.'
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Hackers congress in Hamburg. Photo: Patrick Lux/Getty Images
Amid a gaping shortage of skilled cybersecurity hands, a cottage industry has sprung up to fill the demand, with some of the biggest U.S. companies and agencies paying freelance bounties for detecting website vulnerabilities.
What's going on: There are currently some 301,000 cyber industry openings in the U.S., according to Cyber Seek, a firm seeking to close the shortage, forcing unorthodox solutions on the most strategically important employers.
Their target is not hiring college graduates, but simply to lure reliable hackers, or "white hats," out of dark chatrooms and into respectable employ.
Despite the shortage, the pay appears to be generally mediocre or low, the same malady afflicting job categories across the U.S. and European economies.