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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser
American farmers are livid with President Trump's tariffs. But not garlic growers. Reeling after a quarter-century-long war with Chinese garlic farmers, they are thrilled with a trade war that they say could finally give them the advantage on U.S. turf.
Driving the news: Last month, the U.S. slapped a 10% tariff on garlic imports. In January, it will rise to 25%.
By the numbers: How the price difference ripples through the market can be seen in San Francisco, where the current price of a 30-pound carton of Chinese-grown white garlic is $38–$40, compared with $68 for U.S.-grown garlic, according to the USDA.
Ken Christopher, who runs Christopher Ranch, the largest U.S. garlic producer in Gilroy, California, says that even though the tariff will not equal out the prices, the penalty will make it less profitable for Chinese growers and "it will make an impact, when you're dealing in millions of pounds of garlic."
Background: U.S. troubles with Chinese garlic have a deep history. It's been a three-generation fight, says Christopher, the grower in Gilroy, which calls itself the "garlic capital of the U.S."
But China got around those taxes, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which in 2016 found that China's growers were not paying the duties in full.
Not everyone is so confident.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images
An algorithmic recruiter meant to help Amazon find top talent was systematically biased against women, a Reuters investigation found.
Why it matters: This is a textbook example of algorithmic bias. By learning from and emulating human behavior, a machine ended up as prejudiced as the people it replaced, writes Axios' Kaveh Waddell.
The details: Amazon's experiment, which dates back to 2014, was trained on 10 years of job applications, most of which came from men, reports Reuters' Jeffrey Dastin.
The company intervened to remove the negative weights on these words, but it couldn’t be certain that other, similar problems wouldn’t crop up.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty
Sears' share price plunged by 16% after WSJ reported that it's preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing, and an additional 9.5% after hours. The long-struggling retailer has $134 million in debt due Monday, and it's not clear whether it can pay.
Why it matters: Sears was to the last century of American retail what Amazon has become to this century — trailblazing, ubiquitous and iconic, writes Axios' Dan Primack. Now, it is a poster child for the decimation of large, mall-based U.S. department stores.
The bottom line:
"This is the inevitable end game of an effective liquidation process that has been going on for many years. Throughout that time the sale of various assets along with injections of cash from Eddie Lampert have kept the ailing retailer from going under. However, the activity is akin to bailing out water from a holed ship: It keeps the vessel afloat for longer but does nothing to sort out the underlying problem."— Neil Saunders, GlobalData Retail
Go deeper: The cannibal of Sears
Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The fight against fake news (Sara Fischer — Axios)
The Pentagon's push into soldiers' brains (Michael Joseph Gross — Atlantic)
University endowments invest in blockchain (Jon Victor — The Information)
The players in humanless retail (CB Insights)
First ever Chinese spy extradited to U.S. (Ellen Nakashima — WaPo)
Photo: Katherine Frey/Washington Post/Getty
We've chronicled the fall of Big Mayo at the hands of millennials who developed tastes for sriracha, salsa, wasabi and anything else they regard as hipper condiments. Next to go: Big Cheese.
What's happening: American cheese, a longtime burger and sandwich staple, is under attack. Fast-food chains around the U.S. are swapping out Kraft Singles for fancier cheeses like asiago, sharp cheddar and smoked Gouda, Bloomberg reports. The result is a generational shift away from the orange squares that have populated school lunches for 50 years.