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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Reports show China's intellectual property theft costs U.S. companies hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and Chinese businesses have clearly benefited from a government-manipulated currency, goods dumping and non-tariff barriers at the expense of American firms.
But a lack of money is not America's problem — we are a $21 trillion economy with more millionaires than there are people in Sweden, and where the average CEO makes 271 times the salary of an average employee.
Why it matters: President Trump has yet to explain how a trade war victory benefits working people in places like Louisiana, Michigan and South Carolina who will suffer higher prices on account of his trade war.
Wars are unpleasant things, and trade wars are no exception to the rule. When a country goes to war, its citizens have to make sacrifices, as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) acknowledged on "CBS This Morning" Monday.
"There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas, that our fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make."
Cotton's remarks come in the wake of White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow telling Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that "both sides will pay... Both sides will suffer on this."
The bottom line: With a trillion dollars of global stock-market losses on Monday alone, and the continued implosion of agricultural prices, Republicans aren't even trying any more to make the case that trade wars are easy to win. Now that they're asking Americans to make sacrifices, they're going to have to start being more explicit about what cause the sacrifices are being made for.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at the central bank's last meeting that he sees recent lower readings on U.S. inflation as "transitory," and likely to pick back up later this year. Data shows the market doesn't believe him and neither do everyday Americans.
The 1-year outlook on inflation among U.S. consumers fell by the most in 2 years last month, and is the third-largest drop since the survey was launched in mid-2013, according to the New York Fed.
Details: The decline in inflation expectations was broad-based across income groups, the survey found. Home price change expectations remained stable, but at very low levels. Fed officials also noted that respondents were more "optimistic about their households' overall financial situation and about the labor market."
Amazon is offering its employees $10,000 to quit their jobs with the company and start their very own delivery company — delivering packages for Amazon, of course.
Between the lines: Why is this happening? It's all about control, says Rick Geddes, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University. The company is looking to create a fast-food franchise model, which will give Amazon "sufficient control to ensure uniform service quality" without having to pay benefits or classify drivers as employees.
Perhaps most importantly for Amazon, which has made its living skirting taxes and government regulations of just about any form, "package delivery is not covered by the same legally enforced monopoly that covers first-class mail delivery," Geddes notes in a release. "Private companies are thus able to compete with the U.S. Postal Service in this space."
While stock markets around the globe have turned lower following President Trump's declaration last Sunday that he would raise tariffs on Chinese imports to 25%, New Zealand has managed to shake off the trade war blues. The S&P New Zealand 50 is the world's lone major benchmark index in the green for May.
The reason is simple: Its central bank cut interest rates to the lowest level they've ever been last week, coinciding with a jolt higher in stock prices while the rest of the globe was mired in trade war uncertainty.
Yes, but: Rate cut euphoria doesn't last forever. The bourse fell 0.56% in Tuesday trading. However, it's still outperforming the S&P and MSCI's All-Country World Index by a wide margin this month.
Bonus: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's last cut was November 2016.
Monday was a rough day for pharmaceutical companies on Wall Street. The SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF fell more than 4%, and that was a relief.
Driving the news: Generic drugmakers were hit by a price-fixing lawsuit filed by 44 states alleging 20 corporate defendants conspired to fix prices of more than 100 generic drugs, raising prices by more than 1,000%.
Why it matters: Health care stocks overall have had a terrible 2019 and it may just be beginning. A verdict or settlement in the lawsuit is likely years away, but the new spotlight the case puts on drug makers "spells trouble for investors," writes WSJ's Charley Grant, as the Trump administration looks to further dismantle the Affordable Care Act and take on high drug prices.
The bottom line: Grant notes that lower drug prices are bad for every element of the health care sector. "Members of the supply chain, such as drug distributors, pharmacies and benefits managers, are generally paid for their services as a percentage of a drug's list price."